These days, a company cannot simply speculate on the non-financial factors that will impact results. This phenomena has made the function of the CFO’s team more critical in having the analytic skills necessary to develop complex ‘what-if’ scenarios. The term Big Data is being thrown a great deal these days as the solution to all business problems. For the office of the CFO, let’s not confuse the buzz word with the need. Big Data is one thing, but predictive analytics is another.
There is a great new book that addresses this conundrum, “Predictive Business Analytics—Forward Looking Capabilities to Improve Business Performance,” (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,) co-authored by Lawrence S. Maisel and Gary Cokins. The book is a must read for FP&A professionals. The authors take a look at the organizational use of various applications used for reporting, analytics, modeling and planning, probing into the effectiveness and usefulness of these tools. The book is more that a ‘for dummies’ overview – it has meaty content on how to develop a genuine predictive business analytics function. Maisel and Coskings include case studies and a number of real-world examples that really give you a good idea of what it takes to succeed in this brave new world.