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Driving intelligence into finance operations

June 15, 2021

Data is at the heart of every organization. But without structure, and without understanding, it’s simply, well, data. A jumble of everything and nothing. Just as, without structure, Shakespeare’s Hamlet is simply words.

What gives data meaning is analytics – which in turn can shape business operations, thereby giving organizations a clear competitive advantage.

However, achieving these benefits is easier said than done. CFOs and process owners are often overwhelmed with the amount of high quality, accurate data that needs to be accumulated and used in real time across multiple sources. What they need is an automated, digital data system that automatically collects, organizes, and analyzes data, using appropriate metrics.

Armed with something like this, they will be able to enhance their decision-making, accountability, and financial health, while enabling their employees to predict and prevent losses and monitor performance.

Actionable, frictionless business insights

An automated analytics model of this kind becomes truly useful only when the data it interprets is drawn from across an integrated organization – what we at Capgemini call the Frictionless Enterprise.

Becoming a frictionless enterprise is about seamlessly connecting your people and processes to break down the silos within finance operations across data, functions, and ownership to eliminate friction. In turn, this can deliver next-generation, enterprise-level outcomes, including reduced operational risk, enhanced agility, increased revenues, improved margins, and improved sustainability.

But how can this be achieved within your finance function? What’s needed is a self-service analytics platform with best-in-class metrics that transforms data into actionable business insights based on historical trends and predictive models. Armed with these insights, CFOs and process owners can achieve frictionless decision-making in real time across their organizations.

Application areas

Let’s put some specifics on those insights in finance areas. They include:

  • Improved service excellence – businesses can gain actionable insights from their operational performance, predict SLA and KPI trends, reduce risk through leveraging anomaly detection algorithms and predictive analysis, and provide AI controllership to ensure financial statements compliance
  • Enhanced benchmarking – CFOs can focus on the metrics that matter to them, measure the efficiency and health of their finance processes, simulate the benefits of improvements, and measure the speed to value of their transformation and innovation initiatives
  • Improved business insights – organizations can take advantage of predictive analytics that deliver powerful insights into their P&L, revenue, sales, and working capital, resulting in informed decision-making and enhanced value.

Finance intelligence in action

The benefits of this smart, frictionless approach can be considerable. Here are a few real-world examples that we at Capgemini have delivered for our clients:

  • For a global paper company, we identified actions for a €45 million working capital opportunity, improving DSO by seven days and DPO by one day
  • For an international engineering and service company, we used analytics to support business decision-making through cost and resource optimization, enabling an increase in profitability, productivity, and efficiency
  • For a global FMCG company, we provided visibility into the cost for customer replenishment – leading to an improvement of 0.5% to 2% in logistics costs
  • For a global agriculture business, we improved controllership, providing financial planning and analysis encompassing activities around budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting, and analysis.

All these instances illustrate the point we made at the outset. Data without structure or understanding is just data. What gives it meaning is smart, frictionless analytics – and when it has meaning, it’s not only actionable: it’s valuable, too.

To learn more about how Capgemini’s Finance Intelligence – part of our Frictionless Finance  offer – can help start your journey in smart analytics and real-time, frictionless decision-making, contact:

Daniel Jarzecki

Daniel Jarzecki is a transformation director with over 18 years of experience in managing Business Services delivery teams, building successful solutions, and running transformation programs for Capgemini clients across multiple industry sectors. Daniel’s passion is to enhance business operations with intelligent automation and use data-driven insights to help clients transform and improve.