Key Performance Indicators - A CFO's Perspective

By Adam Jernigan, Founder - Financials OnTap

"You can't improve what you don't measure" - Lord Kelvin

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are metrics that represent how various drivers of the business are performing. These drivers are often both financial and operational in nature. And while there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the "right" metrics for your business it is critical that the data used be consistent and accurate.

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The 11 Commandments of Supreme Forecasting

By Timo Wienefoet, Managing Partner at IMPLEXA GmbH

The Superforecasters were assessed according to Brier scores. A certain mindset combined with a resolute feedback environment led to extraordinary results. Philip Tetlock, author of "Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction", came up with 11 methodical commandments that can be followed to attain  supreme forecasting skills.

      Exceptional EPM/CPM Systems are an Exception

      By Gary Cokins, Founder and CEO: Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC

      Quite naturally, many organizations over-rate the quality of their enterprise and corporate performance management (EPM/CPM) practices and systems.   In reality they lack in being comprehensive and how integrated they are. For example, when you ask executives how well they measure and report either costs or non-financial performance measures, most proudly boast that they are very good. Again, this is inconsistent and conflicts with surveys where anonymous replies from mid-level managers candidly score them as “needs much improvement.”

      Every organization cannot be above average!

       

      The Most Useless Visualisation Ever

      Randall Bolten , longtime Silicon Valley CFO, author of "Painting with Numbers: Presenting Financials and Other Numbers So People Will Understand You” and adjunct professor at U.C. Berkeley Extension

      Let’s take a look at some of the most messed-up, incomprehensible recent examples of quantation. Not surprisingly, all are graphs. But some come from sources that definitely should know better. With some, try to figure out what went wrong; with others, if you can figure out what the heck they’re trying to say, please let me know. Enjoy!

      RANDALL BOLTEN grew up in Washington, D.C., the son of a CIA intelligence officer and a history professor. He is passionate about the importance of presenting financials and other numerical information in a cogent and effective way, and in his current life is the author of Painting with Numbers: Presenting Financials and Other Numbers So People Will Understand You (John Wiley & Sons, 2012).

      He is a seasoned financial executive, with many years directing the financial and other operations of high-technology companies. His experience includes nearly twenty years as a chief financial officer of software companies.

      He has held the CFO position at public companies BroadVision and Phoenix Technologies, and at private companies including Arcot Systems, BioCAD, and Teknekron. Before his CFO positions, he held senior financial management positions at Oracle and Tandem Computers.

      He received his AB from Princeton University, headed west to earn an MBA at Stanford University, and ended up staying in Silicon Valley. 

      In addition to writing Painting with Numbers, he currently operates Lucidity, a consulting and executive coaching practice focused on organizing and presenting complex financial information. He divides his work time between Glenbrook, NV and Washington, DC, and maintains an office in Menlo Park, CA.

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      Clinical & Statistical FP&A

      By Karl Kern, Founder/President, Kern Analytics LLC

      In his book THINKING, FAST AND SLOW Daniel Kahneman describes two schools of psychology within the study of decision making.  Clinical psychologists advocate the use of methods like heuristics (rules of thumb) and intuition for making decisions.

      Statistical psychologists, on the other hand, advocate the use of methods like simple algorithms or formulas for making decisions.  Clinical psychologists believe their methods are better than the methods used by statistical psychologists and vice versa.  The passion that each school of psychology has for its methods led me to examine my work as an FP&A practitioner.

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