CFOs now have the power to present and visualize data in compelling ways–enabling their teams to succeed.
When watching the Iron Man films, it becomes impossible not to fantasize about three things: Tony Stark’s luxury car collection; his impressive business success; and his access to advanced holographic dashboards that allow him to analyze data and share information with the rest of the Avengers to then, well, save the world.
Although technology isn’t at a point yet where we can touch and manipulate data-powered holograms with a simple hand gesture, dashboards and BI technology have become a must-have for CFOs, allowing them and their teams to democratize data, understand the bigger picture and tell a story that mere numbers could never tell.
Just look at an article on Forbes by Neela Pal, a consultant for Fiscal Management Associates, that highlights the importance of visualizing data:
“Thoughtful financial analysis requires as many words as numbers. We encourage organizations to highlight meaningful variances — significant departures from budget — in financial reports. Variance analysis goes beyond identifying financial trends. Seeing the numbers visualized prompts the question: “Why did we bring in less revenue than projected this quarter?” A practical conversation ensues: “Our income is actually highly seasonal. Should our revenue budget be modified to reflect this?”
Today, CFOs are expected to look ahead and be able to predict the future, while closely monitoring and improving organizational performance on the go.
“Dashboards and key performance indicators are essential elements for driving businesses to execute the organization’s vision and strategy and provide management with a constant pulse of the company’s performance,” writes Deloitte partner Petra Hazenberg for CFO insights. “Dashboards display financial and non- financial performance indicators and facilitate enhanced steering of the organization’s key activities.”
In other words, by having access to a clear and detailed picture of the present CFOs can predict the future of the company and direct it in the desired direction.
When it comes to superpowers, such clairvoyant abilities—for example, being able to predict the outcome of different scenarios by drilling down and performing what-if analyses—are as close to a superpower as they can get.
Now the CFO can be the hero the entire organization needs and deserves.
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