As a finance professional, people in the business are asking you questions all the time. Let’s face it, oftentimes you need to run a report in order to get them what they need.
Ask yourself honestly, how easy is it to do this? Can you simply send them a self-explaining link or is it a three-day process of examining and pulling data into Excel and then fielding back-and-forth questions?
The traditional report has become a bit outdated in recent years because technology is allowing us to take data and give it purpose in the form of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Reports never quite deliver what they need to – but KPIs can help change the way you look at, and make decisions with, your data.
KPIs are relevant and easy to find. Lengthy, all-encompassing reports often have too much data when most end-users really just want to see “the grand total.”
Sure, huge reports can make you feel like you’re getting the feel for your business but, all too often, they are full of cluttered information. A single, massive report often contains dozens of performance indicators that matter at different times to different audiences – why not just focus on those?
Using business intelligence tools can help you understand if the data in your report is good or bad – but what if it’s old data? Once you pull data out of its home, the ERP, 50,000,000 transactions can occur. Can you really put it into context?
Financial Performance Management solutions that don’t break the link with the ERP help you ensure the data you are looking at is real-time and accurate, always. This makes it extremely easy to see how you are doing compared to how you should be doing. That comparative gives you quick insight so you know where action is needed right away.
Sometimes a report is exactly what you need. But oftentimes, when you are just looking for a measurement of performance, running a full report can be timely. If you can understand your KPIs and find a way to measure exactly what is it you are looking to see as a business, they can be critical for driving high performance.
Evolving past reports means embracing the secret sauce of a successful Finance Performance Management solution. FPM helps businesses run at optimal performance. They can do this because their critical business systems are connected and providing accurate, real-time data that is relevant and positioned to help everyone in the company make smarter decisions.
Make sure to explore more on Hubbleology to learn more about defining and using KPIs and evolve your business practices beyond traditional reporting.