Many finance leaders have transformation plans that seek to expand the role of their analytics portfolios, without recognizing the improvement in enterprise-wide access to analytics capabilities that were previously the sole domain of finance, according to Gartner, Inc. This means many finance organizations risk investing in analytics that is already being utilized within the business.
Planned new investments featured in many forward-looking finance transformation plans intend to have finance functions expand their analytic portfolios, often planning to offer new, more commercially focused, forms of analytics (e.g., pricing strategy, capacity planning). However, in parallel, the business has increasingly gained access to more data, as well as access to more sophisticated tools to analyze that data.
“This presents a risk that finance will overinvest in analytics capabilities at a time when business partners are increasingly less dependent on the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) team for support,” said Alexander Bant, chief of research in the Gartner Finance practice. “This is a situation that will lead to duplication and less confidence in which set of analytics results are ‘correct’.”
A December survey of 127 finance leaders showed that a clear majority felt both that decision makers in the business were already getting increasing amounts of important data on performance and business operations from outside the finance function, and that business decision makers were increasingly willing to use nonfinance sources of data and analytics in cases where finance data is not ready as needed (see Figure 1).