By Gary Cokins, Jun 21, 2013
A shift to customer-centric analytics is providing the finance and accounting function an opportunity to make an even greater contribution to increasing the organization’s profits. The CFO’s function has progressed beyond its past reputation as a financial steward and reporter of history to perform in a strategic role. Because of analytics, there are now more opportunities to help managers gain deeper insights into where the business makes more or less profit.
By Gary Cokins, Jun 20, 2013
Managers are increasingly seeking more granular data about the costs related to delivering products to and serving a customer, as well as information about intangibles such as customer loyalty and social media messaging of the company and its competitors. This information is essential to retain and grow existing customers and to win-back and acquire the types of new customers that will be relatively more profitable.
Companies are realizing that it is no longer their objective to just increase their market share and grow sales but rather to grow profitable sales and maximize the return on investment (ROI) from their marketing efforts. The application of analytics is critical to achieve this objective.
By Gary Cokins, Apr 04, 2013
Do you think that an organization’s executives are the most important element for an organization’s success? Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe there are key employees who are more critical in key ways than the leadership at the helm.
Some analysts dig deep into historical information to glean insights once hidden. Other analysts are obsessed with predictive analytics and Big Data to foresee the future. Are these in actuality the same person or two different rivals with their own ideology?
By Gary Cokins, Jul 26, 2012
At some level we are all analysts. Life is an endless series of problem solving episodes and making choices. We are not novices at being analytical, but there are traits of analysts whose daily job is to analyze. Marketing analysts determine how to improve sales of products and services and to get insights into customer behavior. Financial analysts determine how best to deploy resources to achieve an organization’s goals. Medical analysts search for cures of diseases. There are types of analysts in every field.
By Gary Cokins, Mar 22, 2012
I routinely see opportunities for analysis in my daily life. Perhaps I was born with the DNA to constantly collect data and evaluate for better outcomes. For example, which check-out line should I enter at the store? Look at the length of the line and the number of items in the shopping carts of those already in line.
By Gary Cokins, Feb 21, 2012
How often have you heard executives proclaim that next year, the target for financial results will be a substantial lift from the current year? For example a CEO may state, “Next year we expect to improve from a 10.3% to 15.4% rate of return on shareholder equity.” Is this leadership or wasted words? Where did the 15.4% come from? How is it substantiated with facts? Is this expectation a goal or a wish?
By Gary Cokins, Jan 20, 2012
There is a referee’s penalty in the sport of American football called “piling on.” It is for unnecessarily jumping on a ball carrier who has already been tackled by others. There has been so much written about analytics that I fear if I add more, then I will be accused of “piling on.” But in my defense, I am not guilty because the adoption rate of analytics is just starting to ramp up.
By Dean Sittig, Lori Schafer, Joy King, Robin Way, Gary Cokins, Jeremy Shapiro, Bill Franks, Mike Lampa, James Taylor, Ravi Kalakota, Thomas H. Davenport, Dec 15, 2011
IIA expects 2012 to bring continued growth in, and attention toward, mainstream adoption of business analytics across commercial and government sectors. As 2011 comes to a close, “Big Data” is the companion buzzword to analytics as unimagined data sources are discovered (and created through innovative measurement) that can be reliably mined and combined to drive even richer analytical insights.
By Gary Cokins, Nov 01, 2011
The CFO finance and accounting function is evolving from its traditional role of collecting data, validating data, and reporting information to a value-adding role of supporting analysis for decision making. Progress has been notable, but still the upside potential is substantial. Consider the shift from profitability reporting of products and standard service-lines to the more encompassing view of customer profitability reporting using activity-based costing (ABC) principles. Another example is the development of strategy maps to report and monitor both financial and non-financial key performance indicators (KPIs). Additionally, there is a swing from traditional cost center budgeting and variances control toward driver-based rolling financial forecasts using predictive analytics integrated across business processes.