Value Creation Through Technology, Education & Storytelling

December 29, 2023 Mimi Torrington

technologic business landscape background

Finance doesn’t look the same as it did 15 years ago. Value creation through technology, education and visual storytelling is a must. There are new industry challenges today and the adoption of technology is ramping up quickly. The act of learning, in the finance world, is no longer limited to formal qualifications - it’s a lifelong journey.

On this week’s episode of CFO Weekly, we sit down with Arno Wakfer, GM and Head Trainer at Educatio. Today we covered what technologies are becoming widely adopted by finance organizations and we covered:

  • Breaking down silos across all areas of your business

  • Promoting financial literacy across communities

  • How can leaders create value within their organization

  • Why data visualization is critical for storytelling

Relationships: How to Break Down Silos in Your Business

leader breaking down silos in business meeting

Breaking down silos inside your business begins with understanding every aspect of the business, and most importantly building relationships. Relationships lead to influence, which is critical to building trust. Wakfer suggests the following roadmap to creating relationships and breaking down silos:

  1. Obtain knowledge of the business

  2. Build relationships with key decision-makers and get to know what they base their decisions on

  3. Find the value drivers in the business and track them

  4. Focus on continually improving efficiencies, profit and cash flow

  5. Create the right team and culture that focuses on the customer

  6. Educate people across the organization in terms of financial literacy

“Finance needs to partner with technology to better serve the business," Wakfer said.

Education: Promoting Financial Literacy in Your Organization - Value Creation Through Technology

Arno Wakfer Quote on value creation through technology

Wishing people understood more and helping them understand more are two distinctly different scenarios. Despite the methodology changing during the pandemic, there’s no shortage of effort from Educatio to promote financial literacy among non-finance professionals. With the migration to online learning and virtual workshops, there seems to be more integration and purpose-built tools in use now than ever before.

The goal here is to turn raw company data into stories that can be shared, that make sense to the relevant stakeholders. Who benefits when you promote financial literacy?

The main focus for a business would be non-finance managers and various levels of business decision-makers or partners who have little to no knowledge of finance and accounting. Tools like Power BI can come in handy for more advanced training in this area since it’s centered around business intelligence and it’s a new skill that the senior finance team can be equipped with.

Leadership: Create Value Within Organizations With or Without Technology

Value creation through technology

Value creation is whatever you do that increases the value of a business for its stakeholders. Ways of doing this from an organizational perspective include reviewing your revenue model: identify opportunities to increase revenue through business growth strategies or create efficiencies through automation, unveiling cash flow improvement strategies. There’s also product and service development that can create more value. While focusing on the new and exciting parts of value creation, it’s important to remember risk management, so your assets can remain protected over time too. Forming strategic alliances with other people and businesses is another way to create value.

From a finance perspective, value can be created by providing better insights (not just information) that ultimately improve the bottom line and cash flow; implementing better systems and automating processes. Finance needs to be more forward-looking, and use methods of financial modeling to generate valuable forecasts and projections.

Finance can assist with visualizing the performance of the business in a way that the right people on the team can make decisions for the future value increase of the business. Essentially, finance should be the co-pilot or conduit for value creation through more informed decision-making.

Data Visualization: Critical for Storytelling

Visualizing data can be achieved through the use of Power BI. It is a platform from Microsoft and it enables you to analyze and visualize millions of rows of data, both financial and non-financial. Further to that, you can share the information in real time with all of your decision-makers and that minimizes delays.

The reports you work within Power BI are primarily visuals, so there’s less room for confusion and misinterpretation. The tool helps you answer the right questions for each of your decision-makers, quickly and effectively. The data is accessible from anywhere at any time, on any connected device, making data visualization a lightning-fast capability where it would have been something that took at least a few hours or days to achieve, sometimes weeks if you were working with a lot of data. This unlocks greater efficiency in resolving problem areas of your business, creating compounded value over time.

For more interviews from the CFO Weekly podcast, check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and our RSS or your favorite podcast player!

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