Business intelligence (BI) has played a huge role in how businesses strategically manage their endeavours. Consequently, BI is unrivalled in its usefulness in the decision making process.
However, as the lifeblood of any organisation is its capital, can BI have a profound affect on financial planning, too?
Thirty per cent of businesses have made inappropriate financial decisions due to poorly collated insights.
Enterprise financial planning
Of course, any good financial roadmap will be built on the foundations of superior insight, which is backed up by a vast swathe of information. Typically, the best financial plan will amalgamate months, if not years of data in an effort to better outline where the company will be in the future.
This is exactly where BI data comes into its own.
Moreover, agility in the decision making process is also key. Research from the Aberdeen Group found that 43 per cent of organisations had trouble with their financial planning due to market volatility, with the applicable data constantly changing.
Perhaps more tellingly, 30 per cent of the surveyed businesses went on to explain that they had made inappropriate financial decisions due to inaccurate or poorly collated insights.
With the statistics in mind, what can organisations do to ensure they employ the best BI practices to supplement their financial planning?
Well, the simple answer is by focussing more on analysing data rather than merely collating it. Furthermore, Space Time Research found that the financial department can actually go on to influence the rest of the enterprise in terms of how it uses BI.
Consequently, by linking financial planning and BI, organisations can improve their decision making processes while getting to grips with company capital.
In general, financial departments are in a unique position to draw data from the rest of the enterprise collectively. Few other facets of the company will have such an encompassing view, making the process of matching BI with financial planning that much easier.
The technology spending priorities of financial executives centres on BI, analytics and performance management solutions.
Fortunately, it appears that the wider business world is embracing the connection between BI and finances. In fact, a Gartner poll of financial executives found that their technology spending priorities centered on a triumvirate of BI, analytics and performance management solutions.
Moreover, the aforementioned research from Aberdeen Group concluded by stating that BI and analytics are tools that have a significant impact on planning, forecasting and budgeting due to their innate ability to deliver the most robust insights to decision makers.
Financial planning and BI are, of course, critical in their own way. However, businesses that think progressively and link them will be the ones who unlock the most from their data.