In order to be a successful finance team, it’s not enough to just crunch numbers and analyse data.
Today’s finance teams are under pressure to do more than ever before. They are being asked to provide insights that will help drive business decisions, but they are also being asked to cut costs and improve efficiency.
In order to meet these conflicting demands, finance teams need to be insights-driven. This means creating an environment where insights can thrive.
But what does that look like, and how can you create it within your own team?
What is an Insight-Driven Finance Team?
Insight-driven finance teams are those that go beyond the numbers to understand the story behind them.
They use data not just to report on what has happened, but to predict what will happen next.
They ask questions and challenge assumptions. And they use their findings to influence business decisions.
Insight-driven finance teams are rich in insights.
To transform your team into one that is rich in insight, you need to guide your members and stakeholders into creating an ‘insight culture’.
How to Create an ‘Insight Culture’ Within Your Finance Team
Here are the things to do to create an insight culture within your finance team:
1. Make data accessible
The first thing you need to do is give as many people as necessary access to the right data. Too often, data is locked away in silos where only a few people have access to it.
This makes it difficult for people to get the data they need to do their jobs. And it makes it even harder for them to generate insights from that data.
Instead, make data accessible to everyone who needs it. This will help to break down silos and encourage a more collaborative approach to data analysis.
Making data accessible starts with making it available. Start by using a business intelligence tool that delivers real-time data and reporting proficiency for all types of users across the team.
2. Encourage a data-driven approach
Another thing you need to do is encourage a data-driven approach within your team. This means making data an integral part of the way you work.
Data should be used to inform every decision you make. And it should be used to improve the way you work.
Encouraging a data-driven approach starts with changing the way you think about data. Instead of seeing it as a necessary evil, start to see it as a valuable asset.
Then, start to use data more effectively, like using it to find growth opportunities for the organisation.
3. Foster a culture of collaboration
Insight culture is built on collaboration. You ought to create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing ideas and analysing data in a way that insights are generated and acted upon.
With this, the silos mentality is cut down, and people are more likely to work together to solve problems.
4. Make decisions on the basis of rigorous, data-based insights rather than experience or intuition
If you are serious about becoming an insight-driven finance team and building an insight culture, you should focus on how insights are framed, created, marketed, consumed, and stored for reuse.
All too often, decisions are made on the basis of experience or intuition rather than data. This needs to change.
When you make decisions, start by asking what the data says. Then, use that data to inform your decision. And finally, make sure to document your decision so that others can learn from it.
5. Encourage a learning mindset
Insight culture is also built on a learning mindset. To encourage a learning mindset, you should create an environment where people feel comfortable making mistakes and learning from them.
You should also create opportunities for people to share their knowledge with others. And you should invest in training and development so that your team members can continuously improve their skills.
Building an insight culture takes time and effort. But it’s worth it. When you have an insight culture, your finance team be able to make better decisions, work more efficiently, and improve your organisation’s bottom line.
SunSystems provides business intelligence tools to help finance teams transform their data into insights. Our products are designed to make data accessible, encourage a data-driven approach, and foster a culture of collaboration.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build an insight culture within your finance team.