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Mastering Financial Dashboards: The Key to Collaboration

The role of Budget managers and CFOs is evolving as they become more closely involved in the strategy and planning side of business.  And while CFOs and budget managers have always had plenty of insights and data to offer the rest of the management team, they have often been relegated to ‘number crunchers.’ Now, by leveraging financial dashboards and mastering data analytics, these financial professionals are in a better position to strategically contribute to the critical business decision process.

 

Data Continues to Increase

Today CFOs and budget managers have access to an incredible amount of data. According to a post on CFO.com, the amount of data a business has doubles roughly every 12 months. And technology futurists project that it could soon double every 12 hours. 

There’s no doubt the increasing amounts of data poses a challenge for many businesses. This is especially true for decision makers who might not have complete access to data or a total understanding of the numbers.  Here’s where financial dashboards can become a financial manager’s trusted companion. Mastering dashboards can help CFOs become invaluable by providing vital information to decision makers.

Financial Dashboard Reporting: Show, Don’t Tell

All too often, as any CFO or budget manager will attest, eyes around the conference room table can glaze over when it comes time to talk about the numbers.  Unfortunately, this puts the business in a precarious position. Incredibly useful information for decision making, including identification of potential risks and opportunities, could be missed as stakeholders suffer from data overload.  Thankfully, financial dashboards can now be created to display otherwise complex data more easily.

The biggest advantage to any financial professional who masters financial dashboard reporting is the ability to simply and quickly tell a story. Dashboards enable CFOs to simplify information and present it in visual ways as charts and graphs, helping decision makers truly understand the data to make the right decisions.

Find the Actionable Metrics

While having a lot of data at your fingertips is often a good thing, the biggest struggle for many is deciphering what data really matters.  Unfortunately, many businesses are still paying attention to ‘vanity metrics’ – those that look nice on paper, but don’t actually provide actionable information.

This is another area where dashboards can prove useful.  By creating financial dashboards based on the data that matters including key performance indicators (KPIs), you now present an accurate snapshot of how you are performing at any given time.  A dynamic dashboard helps decision makers who understand what metrics truly matter, have a much easier time crafting and adjusting strategy around them.

The benefits of gaining mastery in financial dashboard reporting to both the CFO and business far exceed the effort to become proficient. Learning how to consume large amounts of data and present valuable metrics in simplified ways is increasingly important to helping today’s CFO gain a strategic role in the organization.

 

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