It’s no coincidence that the Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO’s) expanding role as a strategic business leader has coincided with the expanding role of digital technologies and data-driven decision making within the corporation. In companies that have successfully navigated the economic turbulence of recent years, CFOs have emerged as key leaders by helping their companies leverage mounting stores of data to address competitive challenges, such as managing risk and working capital, sustaining growth and charting a long-term path forward. But these responsibilities remain new territory for many CFOs, who are still learning how best to optimize the digital levers that have enhanced their position. In particular, they must cope with constantly evolving technologies and an explosion of data. The data is valuable only if it can be efficiently collected, protected, analyzed and shared. It is useful only if it is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Consequently, the CFO’s success depends heavily on having the right technological and organizational components in place to unlock the value of their business data.
What are those components? In working with companies throughout the world, Dun & Bradstreet has found several key foundational elements for collecting, analyzing and, ultimately, leveraging data to support CFOs in their tactical and strategic responsibilities:
- Cloud capability that enables efficient access to and sharing of data.
- Robust data cleansing and enrichment for data that is accurate, complete, and always up-to-date.
- Powerful analytics that rapidly generate insight and answers from your data.
- Automated processes that facilitate collaboration among departments.
- Dashboards and tools that are easy to use and present insights in a digestible way for decision makers.
With this foundation in place, CFOs and their finance teams will spend less time performing routine tasks and more time pursuing high-value activities. They will also spend less time sorting through data and more time extracting insights from data to guide capital investment, minimize risk and fuel growth.
In this whitepaper, we explore data, technology and five ways modern finance teams can drive innovation and growth.