Business man at laptop looking at a Common Data Model

Delivering A Common Data Model

Does your business have a single source of truth? Or to put it differently, are all the decisions across your business made on the same financial data?

In many organisations – and particularly in those where software platforms have been shared, merged or adapted – the answer is no. And that has a significant knock-on effect on the ability to plan, strategise and even execute key business decisions successfully.

We talked to consultant CFO, and now Insight Delivered Product Director, Chris Corfield, about why this single source of truth matters – and how it can free CFOs and finance teams to drive strategic progress, rather than just ‘supply the numbers’.

“As a CFO, I joined a firm that had already been working with Insight Delivered for a while,” says Chris. “They had a great system in place. It was well-designed, well-used and delivered a common data model that was fundamental to what the business achieved while I was there. Essentially, no matter which function area within the business looked at the data, they saw the same as everyone else.”

As a tech-savvy CFO who is hired to make sure that organisations are financially strong at key points of business growth or transition, Chris says there are two important KPIs when judging the success of a new software platform: Adoption and usability.

“With Insight Delivered’s product, both of these KPIs were high. There was positive engagement with the platform, because it is easy to use, and because it delivers reliable, real-time data and insights. It made a considerable difference to the way the business worked – so much so that when the wider group transitioned to a new ERP, the UK business was allowed to keep this system in place.”

What problems does our software solve?

The great thing about Insight Delivered’s solution, according to Chris, is that it sits comfortably with other applications, including complex ERP systems. That means there’s no downside to the business – the software is easy to commission, and starts to deliver better data and insights instantly.

“Without a good business intelligence tool like QSF, it can be difficult to get one version of truth,” he says. “It offers robust forecasting and scenario planning, based on real-time data. And the ability to adjust those figures to show immediately what would happen in certain circumstances really informs better decision making – and that puts the business in a stronger position for growth.”

Can you achieve the same thing with an ERP?

“In a word, no! Even the more advanced ERP systems depend on the way the data is collected and queried, or which business function is querying the data – they will get different answers. QSF gives a single, reliable answer, no matter who is asking. It’s transformative – everyone I have worked with who has used the system thinks so.”

And it helps that the Insight Delivered team is great to work with – knowledgeable about what finance departments and the rest of the business need to know. And we’re problem solvers – so throw anything at it and we’ll look for ways to deliver what you need.

“The benefits to the wider business is also important,” says Chris. “For example, at one of the businesses I worked with, the system is used across all business functions. So in Sales, the team can look at their sales vs margins in real time and get a clear, accurate picture of where they are against target. And no-one feels the need to question the sales team report as the same information is available to everyone. The whole business is harmonised around finance and metrics.”
Want to know more? Why not download our free guide, CFOs and the Data Challenge?