While data governance is not the CFO’s responsibility, the finance group is active in ensuring that a mature data governance program is in place and adheres to the relevant policies and processes of data governance.

Fremont, CA: CFOs and finance organizations have long used data analytics to handle common finance and accounting activities. Yet digital transformation and changing markets are calling for new approaches based on more sophisticated data analytics, along with increasing demands from boards and executive management. And because these methods may entail the breaking new ground on the data analytics front by CFOs and their finance teams, it is also time for them to become comfortable being uncomfortable.

Get Comfortable with Data Discomfort:

At the heart of their mission, CFOs are wired to fulfill the concept of precise reporting. This need tends to allow finance executives to use data sets that they know and to evaluate that they have become comfortable performing over time. But the data sets that generate the advanced analytics that more finance customers are demanding reflect larger ones due to factors of 10, 20, or more that are constantly expanding, thanks to the advancement of digitalization. It can be challenging for the control-and-accuracy side of the conventional mentality of the CFO to embrace this data fluidity. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome the hesitation to dive into larger data lakes by incorporating the right skills, technological tools, and governance systems into the finance company and/or center of excellence.

Promote and Leverage Data Governance:

Effective data management is a technique and capability at the enterprise level that sets out strategies to ensure control and monitoring of organizational data use. While data governance is not the CFO’s responsibility, the finance group is active in ensuring that a mature data governance program is in place and adheres to the relevant policies and processes of data governance. In doing so, the CFO and the finance organization should trust the information used in their analyses and the controls that ensure the protection, consistency, and integrity of the data usage, storage, sharing, and reporting of the enterprise.

Always Look to Close the Skills Gap:

 CFOs must strive to create creative ways to overcome the digital skills gaps within their groups and their company as a whole. This never-ending initiative involves several skills-sourcing mechanisms to be considered, retraining and upskilling initiatives to be supported, recruiting profiles to be rethought, and even a more versatile labor model to be deployed. Improving the finance company’s advanced analytics competencies often includes a nuanced understanding of what such skillsets contain. Digital expertise within finance should concentrate more on forward-looking viewpoints than on historical reporting.

This requires a detailed understanding of where information is stored in the organization, which needs a deep understanding of the company and the problems faced by key internal and external stakeholders, as well as good communication with the IT organization. Core financial planning and analysis skills are a must, and they should be combined with a fluency in all types of emerging technology, such as artificial intelligence and automation, as well as the ability to continuously improve the analytics designed and delivered by the financial company.