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Power BI saves the CFO from reporting troubles

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Monitoring, measuring, reporting and forecasting financial ratios are among the most important tasks of a CFO. In everyday life, the CFO closely monitors e.g. sales development, net sales, cash flow, EBITDA and net working capital, in addition to company-specific, strategy-related indicators. These are reported in standard monthly and annual reports, but the information should also be readily available for ad hoc requests and needs from the CFO themself and others.

Traditionally, economic forecasts have been prepared by comparing historical data, taking into account seasonal fluctuations and reports from previous months, as real-time data may not be readily available. The challenge is the fragmentation of information when data important to the company is processed in several different systems. In addition, changes are constantly taking place in the market and client base, which can sometimes lead to unexpected and sudden changes in the order backlog. For example, industrial companies depend on the availability of raw materials and often the whole delivery can depend on a single component, which in turn makes monitoring and reporting the entire chain significantly more difficult.

However, at the same time the CFO’s success is specifically measured in reporting and forecasting: how up-to-date and effective is the reporting, how accurate is the forecast, and how easily is the information available to support decision-making?

Power BI improves forecast accuracy and streamlines reporting

The CFO is often under constant cross-pressure regarding the reporting requirements – resources and tools may not fulfil the wishes and needs. A cost-effective solution is the use of BI (Business Intelligence) tools. They streamline the metrics, forecasts and reports used by CFOs on a daily basis.

When purchasing BI tools, the question is often whether the integration of a new tool will become a smooth part of everyday life so that the use of several systems can be forgotten, which is when the solution brings real benefits in the form of more efficient everyday operating models. Typically, other decisive factors in choosing a BI tool are the costs of deployment and the resources required, what kind of challenges the tool is intended to solve, customizability, the effects of the source information system, and the ease of use of the tool in everyday life.

Microsoft Power BI is tailored to meet your specific needs. Power BI enables the automation of reporting and makes the analysis of key financial metrics faster by consolidating all available information into a single system. There are several integration options, so as a tool it integrates with most of the commonly used systems.

Power BI also has an excellent drilling capability – individual pieces of information and the root causes of events can be accessed quickly, without browsing different systems. Power BI quickly provides the CFO with a live view of truly real-time information such as up-to-date reports, which can be used to discover new perspectives. All of this makes the creation of economic forecasts easier and helps you focus on the essentials.

Clearly visualised economic metrics generate new insights

Above all, Power BI frees up time of the CFO for business development. The gathered information is clearly visualised on a single platform, which at best can create entirely new insights and provide a deeper understanding of the company’s financial status. This may even lead to the innovation of entirely new services or operating models. 

Power BI makes it easy to share information with others. Power BI can be used to provide different business areas with a direct view of their own operations and to create a common understanding of the direction of the business for everyone. Power BI’s dashboard is customisable to meet the needs of each person or different units, and the information you need on a daily basis is just one glance away.

When implementing a new tool, it often takes time to identify and establish best practices. Therefore, it is worth choosing a competent partner to support the implementation. When choosing an agile partner, the benefits will become visible faster. One of the most important tasks of a partner is to transfer his or her own know-how to the customer and help implement good operating models for the entire staff.

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Petteri Väisänen

Petteri Väisänen

I lead Pinja’s BI unit, where we enable our clients to be truly data-driven. The most important thing about my job is the spirit and the work ethic of our team. I enjoy my free time with my family, where the spirit of doing is also very much present. In addition, boardsports and, actually, all sports are close to my heart.

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