CFOs are quickly moving into the role of business strategists and operational leaders.
As they accept a more strategic role inside their organisations, they also push for a higher level of data integrity and a “single source of truth” for all data that drives their business insights.
The “single source of truth” is defined by InformationWeek as the “one source [of data] that everyone in a company agrees is the real, trusted number for some operating data.”
As data systems become more complex, and oftentimes fragmented, business leaders seek to find the one piece of data from their various applications that should be relied upon for reporting a certain variable of the business.
Once that data is chosen, all employees from across the business should rely on output from that platform to guide their business decisions.
Adaptive Insights, a cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) firm, has released a new global survey of 435 CFOs that reveals how finance chiefs are pushing data initiatives forward, along with some of the mistakes they are making during their data-driven journey.
CFOs said the three biggest mistakes are keeping data siloed (69%), lacklustre reactions to sales and operating margins (60%), and inaccurate data for forecasting and planning (40%).
When information is siloed it becomes nearly impossible to serve a single point of data-based truth to all members of the organisation. Accounting may rely on a different platform than marketing, which may rely on a different software solution than the customer service team. Acting on different data between departments can cause confusion, loss of productivity, and ultimately hurt the bottom line.
With the realisation that data mistakes are hurting their ability to increase revenue and profit, more CFOs are starting to “prioritise a more holistic decision-making process, partnering with key C-suite executives to deliver aggregate views of critical business information, working most closely with the COO (66%), head of HR (34%), and CIO (30%),” the survey says.
Here’s the journey CFOs are attempting to take on the road towards finding a “single source of truth” that can guide their business decisions.
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