It seems fundamental: Of course, data is vital. No finance leader would say differently—until you ask about other priorities. There’s cost management and performance. Growth. Talent. Compliance. And on goes the list. But can you master those areas if you don’t have your data under control? No matter what people say or do, data really is central. Do you treat it that way? It’s time for CFOs to get serious about data.
Data and analytics: the anchors keeping everything in place
Everywhere a CFO turns, something underscores the need to care about data prioritization right now. Compliance with new regulations and demands for transparency. Supporting agile and effective decision-making amid rapid change, and reacting to market and stakeholder demands as business cycles continue to shorten.
Data is even central to the hiring and upskilling that keeps a finance organization on its toes—and in hiring and retaining talent with data skills, the competition includes not only Finance but the whole business world.
When finance treats data as a first-tier priority, it can excel across more than one dimension. But where to start—and how? Our Crunch time report takes an in-depth look at how CFOs can change their organization’s approach to data by putting itself to the test and finding a North Star strategy in the answers.
It’s always Crunch time: It’s time to get serious about data.
Time to put your priorities to the test
What does “getting serious about data” look like—especially if you believe you already are? Ask yourself whether you:
the path aheadData is an asset. Acquiring it and managing it carries costs. You should expect a return on that investment—and no investment produces a return if you take it for granted. From sourcing to cleansing to governance, often across multiple legacy systems, data is a resource you need to take control of and put to work.
From the top down, your Finance organization should have a North Star data strategy. Where do you want to go? How can you get there? What benefits can you realize? A clear data strategy is a necessary bedrock for defining roles and responsibilities, determining priority levels, and establishing accountability. You’ll also need a person at the strategic table who governs the data lake and is the custodian of the company’s data management policy.
Getting serious about data prioritization is no longer an incremental need for Finance. It’s a transformative one—or a reason transformation might fail. Data is raw material, and it doesn’t turn into information, insight, plans, or decisions until it’s managed and interpreted. Doing that at human scale is simply not feasible today.
For many Finance organizations, data is an area in which they have to play catch-up. But that just means they have more opportunity waiting to seize. The good news is there are more tools than ever to carry that process forward.
It won’t be easy. But then: If the way you approach Finance data isn’t hard, you’re not serious about data prioritization. The work is there. The benefits are clear. Time to get started.
Deloitte can help
Our Finance Labs explore the “art of the possible” and define your Finance Transformation strategy, bringing to life potential use cases, road map priorities, and future-state benefits. Contact us to learn more.