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Business Intelligence: A Must-Have for Today’s CFOs

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When you integrate your business intelligence (BI) system with ERP, not only can it help provide trendspotting and enhanced reporting based on larger datasets that give companies proactive strategy adjustments but stay up-to-date across all aspects of operations.

To continue building partnerships across the organization, CFOs need to become masters at translating all sorts of data into insightful analysis and actionable advice. Is that new marketing campaign delivering expected results? Are supply chain adjustments paying off better on-time delivery or customer fulfilment rates? Did shifting our call centre operators from an office setting back home help improve customer service overall but make it less profitable given lower wages paid vs benefits received during their working hours? 

When data is the lifeblood of a company, it needs to be analyzed and measured. BI technology has been used in finance for years as an important tool that helps leaders pull information from internal sources or external ones like customer feedback channels; develop key performance indicators (KPIs) about what matters most within their organization right now – without all those pesky vanity metrics we were taught not too long ago! But first of you need to understand what business intelligence is!

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What Is Business Intelligence (BI)?

Business intelligence is the technology-driven process of organizing and analyzing data that enables businesses to make decisions. BI needs high-quality inputting into your company’s financial accounting suite for it to be able to produce predictive analysis, mining other third-party feeds as well when needed. 

The power of BI allows companies to make informed decisions by using both financial and operational information. With this data, they can track trends in their business operations across different aspects such as sales or marketing – all with a goal for more accurate decision-making capabilities that will lead them down the path towards success! 

When it comes to BI, the possibilities are endless. You can build custom dashboards that will allow you and your team members to access information in real-time with just a few clicks of a button on these customizable screens- no matter where they’re located throughout an organization. With integrated BI systems, the entire organization can make better decisions by analyzing very large volumes of data. Look for a scalable system that provides access to all relevant information and allows role-based consumption, so your team has what they need when it’s needed most!

Why Is Business Intelligence Important to CFOs?

As a company’s financial health depends on accurate data, many CFOs turn to business intelligence tools for help. It allows them a fast access and detailed insights into their organization’s cash flow patterns and expense management opportunities that can lead the way towards profitability while also tying everything back in line with performance goals set forth by senior leadership!

BI can have a huge impact on the success of any company. It’s not just for marketing or sales teams – BI provides valuable insights into all aspects of business, from planning future strategies to making sure your finances are in check!

The benefits don’t stop there either; once finance professionals get used to consuming data-driven stories about their industry (and how it changes over time), they become more efficient at doing what needs to be done with less effort than before.

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Benefits of Using Business Intelligence (BI) for Finance

It is a great way to make sense of all your data and gain insights. Business intelligence software allows you that, but it also offers other benefits such as connecting with other business units or automating certain processes through algorithms. In simple terms, using BI can give rise to better financial management decisions and operational efficiency!

Well, here are some of the potential benefits:

Reduced risks

With the help of business intelligence tools, your company can track financial behavior and detect fraudulent activities in near-real-time. By monitoring employee activity to ensure compliance with industry regulations and analyzing data on current market trends (e.g., credit portfolios), you can mitigate risk associated with accounts payable effectively before it becomes an issue.

Increased profitability

It’s better to retain your current customers than to acquire new ones. BI tools can keep marketing and sales teams equipped with the most up-to-date information on customer loyalty, which will allow them to do more targeted advertising of products or services that target those who have been loyal in past relationships while still making less profitable clients more lucrative through improved profitability metrics!

Better communication

What would it be like to see all the data at once? What are some ways this might improve our workflow and analysis processes, for example, by eliminating hours of manual double-checking or waiting on separate sources to come together in one place so you can make better decisions about what’s important?

Competitive edge

BI is becoming an increasingly important tool for companies to use with the rise in technology. One way that they can improve their competitive edge and monitor market trends effectively with these tools is by customizing products based on available data or predicting customer behavior before it happens, both of which will help them plan new investments and keep existing ones relevant to customers’ needs!

Marketing profitability

Knowing which parts of your marketing campaign are working can help you make adjustments and see a better return on investment. BI will measure advertising spend, email performance, and more to show whether the messaging resonates with potential customers or not.

Operational efficiency

Incorporating business intelligence software into the organization is an easy way to assess operational performance, whether resources are being allocated efficiently and how employees perform relatively. A data-centric approach will allow you better insights into your company’s operations so that they can be optimized for future success!

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How Finance Is Using BI

It is possible to understand better how internal and external factors affect a company’s bottom line through BI. A few of the dashboards and analytical categories that show the current state of the business, its trends, and its challenges are included below.

Planning and analysis

FP&A dashboards support operational and strategic goals. Financial analysts often use BI technologies to estimate future performance. The data they use can assist finance teams in comparing actual performance to forecasted performance and understanding the reasons for any disparities. If improvements are needed, CFOs can now lead the way.

Operations reporting

This dashboard provides a tactical perspective of corporate activities by aggregating data from several sources. Because BI operations data provides specific information on current and short-term demands, CFOs may make quick decisions. In other words, operations reporting provides detailed data to help make strategic decisions. For example, BI can track how long it takes to pay an invoice, helping to improve cash flow and process efficiency.

Risk management

Leaders must act fast when faced with a threat. Finance departments use BI and data management solutions to track financial performance and credit and market risk. With BI, you can put key KPIs front and centre on any dashboard, so your team can see what matters most immediately. It also helps compile risk evaluations when investment opportunities occur and respond to authorities who may mandate more frequent reporting.

Expense reporting and management

Finance can use dashboards and analytics to track employee spending, enforce cost policies, and track T&E trends. Setting up email alerts and notifications to manage expenditure and linking BI tools to your organization’s expense, invoice, and online travel booking systems are effective methods.

CFOs should ensure that BI draws data from the company’s full expense management workflow.

Cash flow management 

With BI, managers can automatically develop and update AR and AP projections. So, if there is a cash surplus or shortage, the organization can cut back or expand swiftly.

Other ways business intelligence can assist with cash flow management include assisting organizations in analyzing the duration and cost of big projects, becoming more deliberate in inventory expenditure, and determining whether to proceed with a merger or acquisition.

Balance sheet management

Many finance departments employ Excel for reporting, notably balance sheets. While spreadsheets can summarize a lot of data, they aren’t good for exploratory research. Instead, BI can locate and analyze contextual data within operations, financial, and accounting systems. CFOs now have extensive variance reporting and can study the data behind the balance sheet.

Revenue management

Business intelligence systems improve financial management, especially revenue management. The correct BI tool can help you decide what to market, whom, when, and how much. Dashboards may now collect, evaluate, and show data using KPIs, assisting teams in developing data-driven planning and forecasting customer behavior.

Profitability management

When using BI systems, it is possible to see how various groups’ revenue is spread out over time, the influence of discounts, and more. Businesses may focus on attracting and retaining profitable consumers with the help of these insights.

As a result, business intelligence (BI) helps executives better grasp the link between client behavior and profitability.

Performance improvement

Monitoring financial metrics is essential to determining an organization’s performance. BI system data provide insight into whether the company will meet its targets and which areas need improvement or growth if they’re not already doing well enough for themselves financially.

Customer segmentation

Businesses might use data collected through business intelligence technologies to serve their consumers better to learn about their customers’ particular needs. Marketing to target groups with appropriate campaigns is made possible with a greater understanding, including what each client segment considers most useful.

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Business Intelligence & Financial Accounting With NetSuite

With BI solutions like NetSuite SuiteAnalytics, you can get real-time visibility into your organization’s financial and operational data. You’ll be able to produce timely dashboards as well as reports that provide integrated analysis across multiple information sources, all while being empowered with an instant understanding of trends or issues affecting the business, thanks in large part because it is tied directly back from those insights via robust filtering capabilities within each piece she’d software individually if needed! We live in an era of data-driven companies, but many CFOs struggle to get their hands on the information that would help them. BI Systems provide a secret weapon for these financial experts – they can wrangle all this new source material and uncover revenue opportunities no one else sees!

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