Analytics is the tool that, when used well, can take any company and give it a very important competitive advantage. The use of analytic technology can help to change the role of the finance department in a huge way. The role of this department is evolving right now, making these individuals far more involved in the strategic planning that happens in the company.

This article will introduce some of the ways analytic technology can be better utilized according to Paul Staelin, the Vice President of Customer Success and co-Founder of Birst.


Using Data Well

If you have spent even a few minutes on Facebook, the success monster of the social media world, then you have heard of Zynga. This is an online gaming company that quickly sky-rocketed to success while many of their competitors struggled to find a good foot hold in the industry.

The reason Zynga was able to move forward at such a rapid pace was because of their ability to take the tremendous amount of information they received and compute it in a way that aided their financial strategies. By analyzing how people were purchasing on Farmville, they were able to change the format of the game to better suit and extend these needs.

In addition, they took this information and created similar products that would serve the same purpose for different audiences. Not only did this use of data analytics help them serve their customers well, but it created the opportunity to get more customers and to continue shifting their operations to meet the ever-changing needs of these customers.


Holistic View of Your Business

Having a comprehensive view of your business will allow you to better see how intertwined all the different departments in your company really are. Each different department is a piece of the whole, and it is important to see them all as working in tandem.

One big mistake being made in many different companies is having different computer systems and storage functions for each different portion of the company. HR, Sales, Marketing, and Production should all be on the same page, so that goals made by the company can be made in a way that will improve things for everyone across the board.

Analytic technology is best used when it is given and used by every department. This will increase the amount of data that comes in, but it will also ensure that the end result of the analytic process gives you an accurate picture of how things are really working.

When you take data and use it to make big changes in the corporations, you want to be sure that those changes will be positive and helpful on every level. When you are able to get everyone working together in this ideal fashion, you will have a better chance for good collaboration.

The best byproduct you will see from good collaboration is good decisions. These better-educated decisions will help you improve in every facet of the company. Success breeds success, and when every piece of the equation is getting better and better, then the sum of the whole will automatically be better as well.


Automated Reporting

When all of this utility is talked about, a lot of CFOs tend to get rather overwhelmed. The thought of taking on so much more responsibility and interacting with so many more employees than usual can be a lot. This is the real beauty of analytic technology.

When you begin to use this emerging technology, there will obviously be a bit of a learning curve. It will take some time to set things up and get everyone on board with the new communication dynamic that needs to exist.

That being said, once this initial effort is made, the program goes to work, and the reports that you receive will be completely automated. As the data is automatically entered and gathered, the program will spit out the analysis you need. The decision-making process will change, but the use of these automated reports makes your amount of effort on the research end much less labor-intensive.

What this means is that your efforts will now be more used in the important aspect of decision-making. You will have all the necessary information, and will have more time and better information to use in creating the right plans for future success. You will have deeper relationships with the other department heads, and that unity will create a new level of teamwork that can only be helpful.


Maintains a Single Version of Truth

In the end, this is the main benefit of using analytic technology to tie different departments together. The entire relationship between these important members of the organizations. Everyone will be working off of the same single version of the truth.

When the most accurate vision of the company is what everyone is working off of, the entire nature of the company will work. This makes analytic technology well worth pursuing for the financial department.