Business decisions are only as good as the underlying information that supports them. That’s why finance teams require a combination of financial and detailed operational information to analyze the business. How else can CFOs and line of business leaders understand the business drivers required to achieve financial goals?
But detailed operational data is often difficult to access and harder to manage for finance teams. Why? To start, this data originates in various systems including ERM, CRM, HCM and data warehouses – so it must be integrated, transformed, and aligned to financial data for decision-makers. Secondly, most CPM platforms don’t have the ability to manage large volumes of detailed operational data, so financial and operational data are often exported into a data mart or standalone BI tools for reporting and analysis – causing data latency. And for teams that use third party BI tools, there’s also a high security risk when moving critical financial data out of a corporate performance (CPM) system, and a lack of control.
Does this all sound familiar to you? If so, then you’ll want to tune into OneStream’s CEO Tom Shea and CMO Dave Kasabian’s recent discussion from our Splash Madrid conference about the power of governed analytics for the office of finance.
Here’s a quick recap of the discussion.
Digital Transformation in the Office of Finance
We hear so much about the need for finance transformation, but as Tom Shea explains, this is not a new concept. “New software tools come out and they make it easy to chart and explore your data, but they typically require exporting or getting that data out of your financial systems. As a CFO, you want the visualization and interactivity but what you don’t want is that data escaping from the protected vessel of the financial system. And what we’re focused on is collapsing that down into a single solution.”
By combining the power of CPM and business intelligence (BI), organizations can achieve higher levels of performance and accountability across the business. OneStream paves the way for forward-looking analysis, ensuring the accuracy and audibility of data that is being provided across the organization. “We’ve built such a rich set of capabilities into the product but we’re not going to change our whole corporate mission. We are focused on business analytics not only from the visualization, but also the data side,” Shea continued. “It’s a comprehensive platform that helps you collect, maintain, validate and certify that your data is correct – as well as visualize it.”
Traditional BI Tools Fall Short
According to the FSN 2019 Future of Financial Systems Global Survey, 63% of finance leaders believe built-in analytics tools are critical for future finance systems. Yet only 31% of finance leaders have systems that provide a quick and dependable platform for decision making. This is because traditional BI tools cannot support the complexity and diversity of data needed for financial and operational decision- making. And as Shea discussed, there is no sure way of safeguarding that sensitive information. CFOs want – and need – to be able to share trusted, validated data with confidence.
“Given the type of information – whether its operational or purely financial – there’s a completely different set of expectations on how that data needs to be governed. However, they’re both equally used for insight, so they have to be right,” Shea continued. “And one of the biggest factors is, if we have to copy the data, we know that we’ve created latency. But it’s also the security around it. Projecting financial data into these other products simply for the visualization aspect is a risky endeavor and you see a lot of concern around it.”
Analyze Without Compromise
According to Mr. Shea, “instead of pushing financial data to a BI platform or data warehouse, in OneStream you can securely bring all the supplemental data you need into a unified platform for comprehensive analysis.”
“We’re pulling together all sorts of operational sources. But it’s not a situation where we just sell the visualization and leaving the data up to the customer. And I think that’s the big differentiation. When we set out to do this, it was not just about visualization. It was about solving the hard problem of creating rational data that’s easy to consume in a BI format, that’s secure, that’s low latency – it’s that whole package which is a completely different concept than the traditional BI route.”
To address the challenges highlighted above, with its Fall 2019 release, OneStream has added built-in governed analytics to provide users with the visualization and ease of use they come to expect from analytic tools, combined with process control and data governance – all within the confines of a single, secured solution.
To learn more about the importance of governed analytics in the office of finance, watch the full video interview and contact OneStream today to schedule a demonstration of the OneStream XF SmartCPM™ platform.