The modern CFO uses data to gain a competitive advantage in the boardroom

The Modern CFO Uses Data to Drive Meetings

Today’s modern CFO must be more than a master bean counter and head of the finance department in their organization. The expectations are so much more from the CFO and the entire finance team today. Finance now leads the organization as the department that tells the company what will happen, not just what did happen. And what drives this change? Data. Data is the lifeblood of an organization. It separates opinions from facts and can provide a competitive advantage for an organization. But how you use it and present it to others matters immensely.

The Modern CFO Paints a Picture

The ability to organize, analyze, present and act upon data is crucial to the modern CFO. This new, modern CFO uses data in the form of charts and graphs to paint a picture for the C-suite of an organization to interpret. How the CFO paints the picture and what tools they use make all the difference. The Board and employees need to understand the direction of the company and the measurement they use to gauge success. Having the right tools at the right time in the right place makes all the difference to insight-driven decision making.

The Right Technology is Key

This is where the technology chosen by the modern CFO can make or break both the organization and the CFO. Technology can drastically change the cost and performance of the finance organization and change the role of finance in the company. If the technology chosen is usable and understood by everyone in the organization, it will be embraced. Technology should be chosen and implemented with the outcome of breaking down silos and creating cross-functional collaboration between departments. This creates an environment where the organization and its people can participate in a digital transformation.

All in the Delivery

CFO’s communicate vast amounts of information to the CEO, board members, employees and stakeholders on a regular basis. The typical CEO is surrounded by complex data and typically looks to the CFO to help him or her make sense of this data and communicate in a way that people in the organization will understand and embrace. The data needs to not only paint a compelling picture, but also persuade and motivate employees, board members or other stake holders to take action. Having the right tools allows the CFO to communicate complex information in the simplest terms using charts and graphs so that the information can be absorbed and real business insights can be gained.

Imagine the Possibilities

Imagine you are the CFO of a billion dollar consumer packaged goods organization and you have key data to present on a new product launch. You need to present data on the new product launch and be able to drill down into sales by region as well as SKU. The board will want to know if investing in the new product will lead to an edge on the competition.

What tools do you want going into this meeting? You want detailed data to back up your analysis as well as the ability to present this data in a compelling and relatable way. But what if the Board asks further questions during the meeting and wants to drill down into detail? Will you have to schedule a follow up meeting to present on their requests? How long will that take? Will the competition gain a competitive advantage on you in the meantime?

What if you could present your data and drill into detail on the fly during the meeting? What if your data could speak volumes and be presented in various slices during the meeting? What if with the touch of your finger, you could drill into a region to show sales figures by store. You find that the new product is performing very well, with the exception of three stores. You cross reference supply chain data for those stores to see where the inventory is. You see that the stock has not been put on the shelves, resulting in no sales at these three stores. You can remedy that immediately. You learn that it is not a result of poor store sales, but poor supply chain issues.

With SAP Digital Boardroom, part of SAP Analytics Cloud, you can be that CFO. That meeting belongs to you. All of this data is available to you at the touch of your fingers. No more rescheduling meetings because you need time to re-run a detailed report. No more questions on why there is a variance in sales at a particular store when the rest of the store sales are doing well. You have access to these details in real-time. All with the power of SAP Digital Boardroom.


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