The Strategic CFO Is a Reality

The data-driven business world demands near-real-time insights and action. In an earlier post, I discussed how the role of the CFO is expanding to encompass “data arbiter.” Today, some CFOs are not only responsible for managing and forecasting based on financial data, but on operational data as well. These CFOs are critical support, a veritable lighthouse of data and strategic insights for CEOs, COOs, CROs and Boards of Directors.

What can a CFO accomplish with the “right” enterprise data at their disposal? How can they bring data-driven, strategic decision making capabilities to the C-suite? Let’s look at a few examples:

  • Execute successful and rapid business motions. The CFO can correlate supply chain, manufacturing, and inventory data with customer demand and other market research to accurately adjust production runs, distributions and pricing.
  • Inorganic growth initiatives. During M&A the CFO can get a handle on an acquired target’s data to understand the target’s financial and operation position. The CFO can then rapidly identify leading indicators, understand current operational reporting, and any resource or reporting gaps.
  • Divestment. On the flip side, the CFO can also untangle combined organizations to ensure the resulting leaner organization can continue forecasting accurately. The CFO can provide strategic counsel regarding the best or most appropriate time to divest a part of the business for maximum return.

My colleague, Darren Peirce, wrote a valuable article about CFOs and the power – and perils – of explosive data growth and the resulting focus on analytics. I encourage you to read his post.