The Death of Business Intelligence

Why should finance take over business intelligence?

Posted in Uncategorized by TheLondonEconomic on July 29, 2013

Information is mined by programmers and technicians, but when it comes to the processing of data, the Journal of Accountancy argues the finance department should be taking the lead role.

Data has transformed most roles in the business sphere, but the corporate finance function has been particularly affected by the influx of information. According to Donny Shimamoto, a certified information technology professional at Chartered Global Management Accountant, finance should own the business intelligence (BI) role for the good of accountants and the good of the organization.

Speaking at the AICPA Financial Planning & Analysis Conference in Las Vegas, he explained that there are three reasons why finance should focus more onBI. First and foremost, the finance department can usually add clarity, accuracy and relevance to what is often just confusing numbers to those without the skills or expertise to process. A recent Gartner report says that businesses are “still struggling to make progress with (business intelligence) andanalytics”, which is why employing those with analytical skills can add insight to information.

Secondly, senior officials often perceive information coming from the finance department as being more trustworthy and valid. Accountants are seen as ‘purveyors of the truth’ in an organisation, and there is a certain validity that accompanies information processed by accountants.

Finally, the rise in analytics represents an opportunity for finance to shift toward a role of business partner. Accountants “can go beyond traditional cost control and start to evolve the role to be looking at the organization as a whole and discussing how to best optimize the performance,” Shimamoto says.

In order to adapt to the new corporate finance function, the role of accountants should be broken into four quadrants. There will be the traditional steward/controller role, the trusted reporter role and compliance duties which are already incorporated into most positions. But along with these functions, there will also be a move towards more technical expertise. This is the one Shimamoto hopes finance can become more attuned with.

“Finance is the key to help unlock the power of business intelligence,” he said. “The tools have evolved to become so user-friendly that you don’t need IT to help get the information. It’s evolved now so finance can do it all on (its) own. That’s a huge change within the last decade.”

That’s where DS Panel’s Performance Canvas comes in. With Performance Canvas, finance professionals can track business opportunities and create visual alerts when new opportunities arise. They can also optimize budget cycles, create and store multiple what-if scenarios and deploy them depending on the business situation and monitor forecast vs actual expenditures in real-time. All of this comes in a zero-footprint, Excel or Web based financial client, to make adaption seamless.

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One Response

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  1. analyzerhakan said, on August 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Reblogged this on analyzerhakan and commented:
    I fully agree; if finance takes over BI will start making money for the company.


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