Getting the full picture

Making Sense Out of Data
You Cannot Transform What You Cannot See

Laurent Dechaux, Vice- President Digital Finance at Oracle @LaurentDechaux


Making sound financial decisions requires a clear and accurate view of company data

We’ve all been there, that moment on a phone call when someone is covering the most important details of the conversation but is being drowned out by background noise.

Champion

Finance: the new “Champion” for applied analytics

Picking out specific, accurate details from a noisy environment is a challenge we face each day whether on a phone call, doing online research, or trying to make sense of data about our businesses. Companies collect so much information about their customers and internal processes that they often find themselves trying to make sense of overlapping and contradictory stories.

Accurate information is crucial to smart decision-making. Few of us would make an important choice based on points we may not have even heard correctly on a noisy call, so why would businesses make crucial decisions based on a rough impression of their data?

 The disparate systems and processes they have built up over the years were never designed to work together, which means they must do the best they can to navigate conflicting analyses and duplicated data.  

Unfortunately, some companies don’t always have a choice. The disparate systems and processes they have built up over the years were never designed to work together, which means they must do the best they can to navigate conflicting analyses and duplicated data. Often, the most relevant information does not present itself clearly enough and is at risk of being overlooked.

In pursuit of a single truth

Whether they are working on strategic investments, resourcing, or forward-planning, finance teams cannot afford to rely on an incomplete understanding of the business or its customers. This is especially true today, when markets have never been more volatile and the future has never been harder to predict.

Finance leaders are also feeling the pressure from stakeholders who want to know their investment is in safe hands. Virtually every major industry is being disrupted by fearless challenger brands, and established companies must transform the way they work to compete while being mindful of the fact that every decision carries greater potential risk or reward.

 Finance teams need to consolidate their systems and streamline their data into complementary streams rather than analyzing them separately.  

It is hard to transform what you cannot see. Finance teams need to consolidate their systems and streamline their data into complementary streams rather than analyzing them separately. They need a single dynamic view of the truth, not a series of snapshots that reveal only half the picture.

Work smarter and attract better people

Taking complexity out of the business by centralizing processes and ensuring decision-makers have access to better, more accurate data also reduces costs. Synced up systems are faster and more efficient than disparate ones, which means less time spent managing operations and more budget freed up for growth activities. Better still, any investments the company makes will be based on enhanced data and are therefore more likely to be successful.

Modern systems are also a motivator for employees. When workers can wrestle back hours that were once lost wading through complex, conflicting data they become happier and more productive. It is ultimately the people on a finance team that collectively form the company’s strategic engine, and they will feel more motivated if the systems they use allow them to deliver on this expectation. 

 Since consolidating its processes onto one central system with Oracle ERP Cloud, Orange has found itself working more quickly and more flexibly.  

Global telecoms operator Orange has certainly reaped the benefits of consolidating its process, both in terms of efficiency and staff recruitment.  The company serves 250 million customers in 220 countries and previously ran multiple ERP systems in many of these regions. Since consolidating its processes onto one central system with Oracle ERP Cloud, Orange has found itself working more quickly and more flexibly. Just as importantly, the operator is now attracting more skilled digital natives who are keen to work in a modern finance environment.

Leading by example

At Oracle, we have seen first-hand the benefit of consolidating our finance systems and gaining a ‘single view of the truth’ within our own business. After centralizing our own operations our operating margins jumped from 22% to 34% in just one year.

As we and many of our customers have realized, acting on learnings from the past helps you better predict the future. However, it takes an accurate view of data to make sound decisions. This is why more companies are turning to cloud ERP and analytics to inform their future strategies, whether it’s to save money on procurement or to anticipate their hiring needs.

This is a time of unprecedented challenges and no finance leader can afford to ignore the value of a clear and transparent view of the organization. When it comes to major business decisions, there is no room for doubt.


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