The financial numbers only show one side of the story. When FP&A professionals are presenting the complete story behind the numbers, soft data needs to be collected and incorporated. The big question is, what data and where is it?
Many Finance professionals have an incorrect perception of the word “insight” but here is a simple way to validate if you provide insight or “just” data. Ask yourself, what decision a business can make based on the data you have provided? Insight is something valuable and not yet known by the business, but when known the business uses it to make decisions that are data-driven.
The quality of a decision is a question about what data or lack of data the decisions are made on. So, let’s discuss what is a Data-Driven Decision and what is not, but also how do we make Fair Decisions.
Today’s finance and accounting professionals face ever-growing challenges when it comes to data. The simplest analyses can be complicated by the wrong data or bad data and too much data can even be a problem. Effectively sourcing, managing, and using data are key skills.
A recent Accenture study showed that 79% of large company executives think that companies that don’t manage big data properly will get left behind. But, data alone is not what businesses are after. They’re after what they think data can do for them. They’re really after the insights they can glean from data that will help them improve their decision making and the actions they take to move their businesses forward.
The explosion in computing and data processing power has led to an exponential increase in data available to the business. Paradoxically, this has led to business leaders becoming more uncertain about what to do with this data. Hence, business is scrambling to put the appropriate “analytics” capability in place. This generates a lot of friction and tension because business leaders and managers, who have been brought up in a very different world, have to scramble to learn new languages and redress their relationship with data.