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CFOs: 4 signs you need data visualizations

June 8, 2021


Today’s financial leaders have more responsibilities than ever. On top of managing cash flow, overseeing the accounting department and helping to drive growth, you’re also responsible for ensuring the quality of your organization’s financial data and translating that data into reporting that stakeholders can understand.

A data visualization tool such as Microsoft Power BI helps you leverage your data in real time so you can make better decisions – and provides stunning visuals to impress your stakeholders. Here are four signs that you’re ready to utilize Power BI.

One: Your reporting takes too long

When it comes to reporting, financial leaders often find themselves swimming upstream. They may be forced to rely on other departments or systems to provide data, while having little to no control over the quality of the information they receive or the timeliness in which it is provided. This slows the process down considerably. Maneuvering through various systems, analyzing the data, making revisions and, finally, creating the long-awaited report can become a serious hindrance to accurate reporting. By the time it’s created, your ability to use the report with confidence is jeopardized. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. You must be able to pivot quickly to make time-sensitive decisions. Data visualization tools like Power BI provide an automated platform where you can do just that.

Two: You are plagued by inconsistent data

When evaluating your readiness to use data visualization tools, you need to take a good look at the current state of your data. Is it accurate? How often is it updated? Is it “clean?” Inconsistent data is not your friend. It leads to inaccurate reporting and misinformed decisions, and undermines trust in the finance department.

As CFO, the last thing you want is to make important decisions based on unreliable information. Whether you are up against faulty processes, human error, or some combination, the right data visualization tool can clean, organize and centralize your data and processes to eliminate inconsistencies.

Three: You can’t make sense of your data

Trying to aggregate data from disparate systems throughout the organization can seem like an impossible task. If you’re working with data sets that are spread across departments and functions, it can be difficult to makes sense of it all, much less manipulate it successfully for reporting purposes. Power BI, a leading data visualization tool, corrals the data within your organization into one platform. This gives you the ability to leverage the data you’re already collecting and build on that to power your company’s strategic goals.

Four: You are spinning your wheels with Excel

At some point, most organizations outgrow Excel as a tool for managing business intelligence data. However, they often struggle to find better solutions. They may fear a high price tag, or an arduous change process required to make the switch. As a result, you or your staff continue to create Excel spreadsheets that attempt to tackle what a data visualization tool could do in minutes.

If you find yourself or your team spending a lot of time and energy trying to create what you need in Excel, you might be ready for a better tool. Find out whether you’re ready to start using data visualization by contacting us today.

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All content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Matters discussed in this article are subject to change. For up-to-date information on this subject please contact a Clark Schaefer Hackett professional. Clark Schaefer Hackett will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within these pages or any information accessed through this site.


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