Improving decision making in organisations: Unlocking business intelligence

Improving decision making in organisations: Unlocking business intelligence discusses current developments in business intelligence and practical information to transform finance functions and provides CGMA designation holders with the tools to improve accounting operations and acquire a greater competence in informed decision making.

The term ‘business intelligence’ is often used to describe the technical architecture or ‘stack’ of systems that extract, assemble, store and access data to provide reports and analysis. It can also be used to describe the reporting and analysis applications layer or performance management tools at the top of this stack.  Within this context, the finance function is being transformed in terms of the efficiency of its operations, the quality of the information it generates and its level of influence in management.  But business intelligence is not just about hardware or software.

Leading organisations have already grasped the opportunities presented by developments in information and communications technology to improve the efficiency of accounting operations. They recognize, however, there is a limit to how much cost can be taken out of the finance function and their focus has shifted instead to gaining greater value from finance.

Success depends on senior management recognising that an organisation’s data is an important strategic asset that can yield valuable management information. Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA designation holders) must examine the potential in business intelligence for their organisation, plan its implementation and demonstrate how decision making will be improved by the management information which is generated.