In today’s business world where most companies have the ability to collect mountains of data, it seems a fair share of businesses still lack the expertise and strategy necessary to make the most of their data. This is what 42% of the 350 business leaders surveyed in Vena’s 2020 Industry Benchmark Report revealed when asked to identify their organization’s current data challenges.
The survey elicited responses from around the world, with the largest segments coming from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The business leaders, finance and operations professionals who took the online survey came from a wide range of industries, including technology, insurance, manufacturing, health care, sports, nonprofit and more.
Considering that businesses across industries and borders are still facing these data challenges today, what can you do to empower your finance team to become the data experts and strategic business partners you need them to be to turn your financial and operational data into organization-wide insights?
The reason most finance teams can’t get down to data analysis is that they’re bogged down by tedious and repetitive manual tasks like data collection and data entry. To make sure your finance team is spending less time chasing down numbers and more time on forward-thinking analysis, you’ll want to consider data automation.
Data automation will enable you to eliminate data entry errors by automating the most common and repetitive accounting and finance tasks. Not only does it improve team efficiency, it also minimizes risk by providing accurate numbers. Think of data automation as containing all the tools you need to constantly monitor your data, so your team can spend quality time on the more rewarding aspects of their job—analyzing the story behind those trusted numbers.
In order for your teams to achieve a holistic view of your data and to identify key business drivers across every function of the business, they need to be working from a single source of truth. And that’s where data integration comes in. Data integration connects the dots between people, departments, processes and systems. You can think of it as your data systems talking to each other.
When all of your live data—financial and non-financial—is integrated from your current systems and brought together into a secure, centralized database, your teams will be able to use this unified data to gain clarity on the best paths forward for your business. From there, it’s time to bring your data to life.
Storytelling Through Reporting and Analytics
From effortless integrations come instant insights. It’s that easy to turn your numbers into a narrative with financial reporting and analysis tools.
Every spreadsheet has a story. When your team is able to create custom reports, hone in on your most important KPIs and focus on specific business metrics, the faster they’ll be able to dig deeper into the data. That’s when they’ll be able to identify important trends, analyze the impact of potential changes to different levels of your business with scenario planning and real-time forecasting and communicate what matters most to drive informed decision making. And when they can power their reporting with a business intelligence tool and visual data analytics, they can let those key metrics pack a punch with interactive graphs, charts and dashboards that can be created in minutes.
Do More With Your Data
It’s clear that growing your finance team’s data expertise and strategy skills means more than just identifying the skills gap from within and finding finance professionals who possess the technical and non-technical proficiencies required for data analytics.
Leveling up the data expertise and data strategy efforts for your business comes down to empowering your team to do more with your business data. Providing them with the tools they need to automate core finance functions, speed up business processes, maximize performance and drive cross-functional collaboration across the organization will help create the data experts and strategists you need to drive your business forward.