Published 06. Sep. 2018
Thought Leadership: Overcoming Obstacles in a Data-Driven Organization
Rami Jahkonen on the role of a modern CFO in a data-driven organization
COMPETITION IS INCREASING – ARE YOU READY?
Today’s business landscape is changing rapidly and competition is increasing constantly. New technologies and innovations renew the environment forcing every company to be awake. As a leader, you continuously have to consider:
- where your business environment is going and how should you react on changes
- are you going towards company goals and what decisions you should make to overachieve them
- what actions should you take to challenge the “status-quo”
Also to be honest: are your decisions based on facts or on myths, beliefs or someone’s gut feeling?
Lead by example
If you are not letting data guide your decisions yet, you need to start now. Lead your business based on data and utilize analytics in every day operations. Make your organization data-literate, enable use of technology, and encourage employees to make informed decisions and act based on them. Only actionable insights matter in the long run.
Kiinteistömaailma, a Finnish real estate agency franchise chain and our customer since many years, is a great example of having the courage to be a data-driven organization.
OBSTACLES IN THE JOURNEY. NOT YOU, I HOPE?
In your journey to become a truly data-driven organization, you will most likely face some obstacles. Do not let yourself as a CFO be one of them. I have met many organizations, which I call “Finance steered business”. One indication of this is leading only by financial figures. This kind of management makes the organization constricted in many aspects.
If your main goal for business planning and reporting is to create P&L statements, your organization maintains and gathers substantial amount of excel spreadsheets and most of the development projects related to (for example) analytics are done to serve finance team, not business. If this is the case, it is possible that the CFO disease of limited leadership will spread throughout your organization.
The good news is that we can help you.
Take the important step
It’s nothing new that better business performance is achieved in the actual operations and outcome of all the operations reflects in the numbers. So why would you want to be a roadblock while you can be an enabler supporting better decision making? When you coach and support, more people will understand the actual decisions and metrics affecting company results. Support the organization for better understanding of the business and KPI’s behind the figures. Spread analytics and data literacy across the company.
In addition to getting familiar with Kiinteistömaailma’s story around being data-driven, I encourage everyone to read this story of Fastems, a technological forerunner in their own field. They have taken the brave step and succeeded in the finance transformation process related to business planning. They took the first, important step too. You most likely find also some interesting ideas (in Finnish) from
- our New Role of the CFO Guide illustrating three important steps to change and
- writing about taking next step in leading with data
Rami Jahkonen has had several different positions in finance, like CFO, Controller and Accountant. He is currently working at eCraft Business Insight as Partner, BI & Analytics. You can meet and challenge his thoughts at the 600Minutes CFO event in Finland on 31st of October 2018. eCraft Business Insight is one of the main partners of the event.