Optimising financial processes

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Mckinsey – Disrupting and Advancing Business Processes through Data Insight

As little as 10 or 20 percent of available operational process data is currently leveraged to drive decision-making and action.


With the vast quantities of data at our disposal, and tools that can turn information into valuable insights, we should now be able to harness data and analytics to exponentially increase the value we deliver to the business.

With so much potential available, why has it been difficult to capture this value?

In a recent survey, 86 percent of executives said that they lacked the platforms to access good quality data.

But it’s not just about platforms, tools and skills, it’s about a broader strategic framework. Do we need to be a bricklayer for every data insight, or is there a better blend of capabilities?

Maybe, some of the generic needs can be provided with prefabricated components. That is how we build the most sophisticated and impressive buildings today. Can we not take a lesson from industry and avoid the temptation to develop artisan data scientists to be ready for every problem?

“Analytics lighthouses” have started to emerge. They showcase the potential gains that can be achieved when data insights are applied at scale. The impact they achieve is profound and holistic, boosting value delivery by 10-40 percent, accelerating the innovation agenda, improving risk mitigation, and providing an overall uplift in organizational health, as they start to become a magnet for talent.

McKinsey identified five factors for these successful “Analytics Lighthouses” to stand out from the crowd, in a recent article here . . .

The article is focused at the Procurement function, but the observations apply widely.

My one criticism is that we need to start thinking of data insights as “products” that can be sourced in many ways, using the 80/20 guidance of Pareto, and not thinking of “analytics” as a modern form of bricklaying.

It is no longer about the “power of analytics” but the “power of insight and decision making” that matters most.

The demands and aspirations of business today require us to think differently and step beyond received wisdom and create a new, better future.

Food for thought, I hope . . .

Thanks for reading!