Finance

Data-driven business insights vs. Standard financial reports

“I am tired of getting pages and pages of reports from my Finance team,” commented this CEO of a large organization to me. “All I need to know is how my business is doing, and what changes I need to make to improve performance. Is it too much to expect,” he asked?

Finance teams love to work with and present lots of data.

Business owners and decision-makers on the other hand care about the data but are more interested in outcomes and understanding drivers of those outcomes.

Herein lies the expectation gap.

Their head of finance used to present results to the executive team, walking through a 30-page reporting package full of tables and graphs.

How did the executive team respond? Yawns. Lots of yawns, in fact.

The CEO brought me in to change this.

The 30-page package was replaced by a crisp one-page summary of: why the performance was as it were, identifying the underlying drivers of revenues and costs, and a recommendation on what needed to change to deliver profitable growth.

The monthly meetings thereafter changed to a data-driven discussion to develop and implement clear strategies and actions.

Are you getting real insights and answers to your business questions from your Finance team?

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