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How to turn data into decisions



Making decisions and taking action is fundamental for CGMA designation holders. The development of a global marketplace with competition from non-traditional sources has and continues to increase the number and frequency of decisions CGMA professionals are required to make on a regular basis. The risk of making a poor decision has never been higher, nor has the number of required applications for analytical tools.

Successful decisions require a disciplined process for managing the resources of the organisation. Savvy CGMA designation holders will take a systems approach to decisions and understand the influence of structural blockages can have to either slowdown or destroy the decision-making process.

Analytical tools and techniques cannot provide the entire basis for every decision, but using the right tool helps to provide the discipline required when faced with complex problems.

This primer provides an overview of how CGMA professionals can add value to the decision-making process in their organisation and includes:

  • Key components to a systems approach to decision-making.
  • Factors which significantly influence our interpretation of data and therefore decision-making, drawing on the study of behavioural finance.
  • “How to” instructions for using the following decision-tools:

    • Target costing
    • Process mapping
    • Fishbone Charts for cause and effect analysis
    • Theory of constraints (TOC)

Using the right tool adapted to your purpose can provide several benefits including assistance in discovering the underlying causes of problems and gaining acceptance of decision-making techniques by a large group of people.