- February 2, 2024
CFONEXT100 2023: ‘Reckoning with relevance: Understanding CFO’s critical role in unlocking data’s value’ – Key highlights
In his session on data and its critical role in an organisation, Rakesh Sinha, Founder and CEO of Quintes Global Private Limited, took a deep dive into the challenges faced by finance leadership in unlocking the value of data and the implications of these challenges on decision-making. He started by addressing the ubiquitous nature of data discussions across organisations, emphasising the exponential growth in expectations from finance teams, particularly in decision-making capacities.
Through a series of interactive questions and audience engagement, Mr Sinha highlighted the struggle many finance teams face in meeting these expectations, citing a scale of data capability that resulted in most falling below the desired threshold for delivering value through data insights. The major challenges identified included issues with data quality, system limitations, and an inward-looking corporate culture causing siloed mindsets.
During his presentation, Mr Sinha shed light on a crucial misconception—the perceived problem of unstructured data versus the actual issue of uncertainty about what data needs analysis. His presentation also delved into the journey from data to value, stressing that creating insightful dashboards isn’t enough.
The session covered five types of value obtainable from data: transactional, informational, analytic, synthetic, and synthesized. The speaker underscored the evolving role of CFOs, who are expected to become Chief Decision Officers. Achieving this demands synthesizing data, going beyond analysis to drive decisions that yield results.
The discussion pointed out common pitfalls in data transformation, such as lack of structured master data management and the absence of a single source of truth. Real-world examples illustrated how even reputed organizations grapple with discrepancies in data reporting, causing embarrassment at crucial junctures.
Mr Sinha concluded by emphasizing the need to align data transformation with business impacts, stressing that it’s not just about deploying technology but about realizing the true potential of data to drive strategic decisions and deliver tangible results. Overall, the session was a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities and practical challenges in leveraging data for effective decision-making within finance teams.