Finance analytics are well established, with nine out of ten organizations having implemented analytics solutions to support their financial processes in the last five years. And why wouldn’t they be? As one CFO stated in a recent IBM report, Finance Analytics: Seven Hows and Millions of Whys, says, “Advanced analytics give me answers to questions I didn’t even know I had.”
But that doesn’t mean analytics are widely used. According to the report, adoption is happening in pockets, and finance organizations are still predominantly using analytics to look backwards rather than anticipate the future and prescribe actions.
But there are some CFOs who are leading the pack. These CFOs excel in the capabilities of finance efficiency and business insight. They also possess strong analytics capabilities, talent, and technology. Why pay attention to these leaders? Because they deliver better financial performance than their peers, both in revenue growth and profitability.
Here are the secrets of their finance analytics success:
- 154% more likely to have adopted common data definitions across the organization
- 5 times more likely to be very effective at data integration throughout the enterprise
- Investing more consistently in implementing analytics across the business, not just in finance
- 28% more likely than others to use forward-looking analytics
- More likely to closely collaborate with their C-suite peers, in particular the CMO
- Heavier users of analytics tools and ahead with cloud computing; they also rely less on spreadsheets
- Focused on developing analytics talent to partner with the business – three times more than their peers
There is no doubt that data and analytics have a crucial role to play in value creation and growth. The insights in the IBM report provide valuable pointers as to how finance executives can use them to maximize the benefits in their organizations.