Beware the intellectual power of an executive with a firm grasp of the facts.
CFO’s are increasingly being challenged to not only produce and organise financial data, but also convey it through intuitive images. They need a reliable, efficient, and interconnected method of organising and presenting their financial data.
Teams are turning to data visualisation to more quickly and accurately inform the board and senior management of financial performance and business developments. They are able to tell better stories by making financial information concise and simple to understand, which, in turn, allows management to quickly get to the key factors that lead them to make better strategic decisions.
As finance teams explore ways to provide better visual representations of their data, they also should look for reporting solutions that enable them to ensure one central source of truth for information. The source should be linked into financial reports, dynamic, at-a-glance dashboards to management, and presentations—enabling readers to digest key messages rapidly.
The right reporting solution allows FP&A teams to create intuitive and compelling stories easily using graphs and charts, with the ability to drill down or show high-level trends on strategic measures. With the right methods and tools in hand, FP&A professionals can more effectively communicate with senior level audiences, without having to spend a great deal of time developing and explaining their message.
The Association for Finance Professionals have created The AFP Guide to Data Visualisation: How to Tell Number Stories with Pictures, which explores how finance professionals view data visualisation as a way to solve problems and understand what’s driving performance.
Best practices for financial data visualisation include:
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