High Stakes, High Rewards: Best Practices In Advanced Financial Analytics

Jayne Landry

Part one of a two-part series

How do best practices in data and analytics benefit the organizations that lead in these areas? According to a new study by EY and Forbes Insights, analytics leaders report gains in operating margins and revenues of 15% or more, while also seeing significant improvement in their risk profiles. In contrast, less-mature analytics practitioners typically experience breakdowns at critical stages of the business initiative process, starting when the company identifies new business opportunities and models ways to act on insights to measure outcomes of their data-driven strategies.

There are major advantages for companies that correct these problems. One of the most important underlying factors that fuels success is having a strategy that combines an enterprise-wide approach to data with resources that serve the unique needs of individual business units. Analytics often starts at the line-of-business level, where there’s a specific business problem that the department is trying to solve. This gives them the ability to address a specific need, but it comes at a cost in terms of security, trust, and organizational scale.

An enterprise-wide, collaborative approach

The key to analytics maturity is taking the step from having a series of ad hoc, federated activities to an approach that spans the organization and expands the benefits of data and analytics to all units. This requires close collaboration among a cross-section of business and technology leaders. The enterprise strategy must be embraced by everyone from the top executives to people in every department – and beyond your four walls to suppliers and customers.

In addition to a cultural shift, this broad strategy also requires a portfolio of data and analytics technologies, ranging from programs for data discovery and dashboards to predictive analytics. It’s best when all of these components run on a single platform, so organizations can have agility for individual use cases, while also developing trust in the data that comes from consistent management, security, and governance. The best practice is to combine top-level solutions, like the executive digital boardroom on a single platform, while departments like HR, finance, and marketing can leverage the same technology for their needs.

A strategic road map for gaining the highest returns

We recommend addressing this need starting with strategy-assessment services to help enterprise leaders identify analytics projects and assess their potential business benefits and investment returns. The strategy sessions then prioritize projects based on which ones will offer the highest returns and deliver value the fastest. In this way, companies can create a road map showing what the next project will be and the one after that. Looking at analytics from a portfolio perspective like this helps organizations put resources in the right places and generate the best results.

Many of the point solutions on the market address the analytics needs of business units, but fail to support enterprise security policies. A single platform brings these areas together.

The platform should address business agility with applications such as a data visualization program for business users and a cloud solution for planning, predictive analytics, and business intelligence – along with enterprise levels of scale and security. This way, when people try to access content, administrators can immediately authenticate them to make sure they’re viewing only the data they’re allowed to see. This is one of the ways to create an enterprise strategy while still addressing business agility.

Read the full report from EY and Forbes Insights, Data & Advanced Analytics: High Stakes, High Rewards.

Click on these links to learn more about business analytics solutions and how to build your BI strategy.

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Jayne Landry

About Jayne Landry

Jayne Landry is the global vice president and general manager for Business Intelligence at SAP. Ms. Landry joined Crystal Decisions in 2002 and came into SAP through the Business Objects acquisition in 2007. A seasoned executive with 20+ years of experience in the technology sector, Jayne has held leadership roles in high-tech companies in the CRM, mobility, and cloud applications space. Ms. Landry holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Auckland, and has continued executive development with Queen’s University, Ontario, and through work with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.