Embed finance people throughout the organization

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Working in departmental silos allows for disciplines of specialized expertise to develop and mature. Silos also cause these departments to be isolated from the rest of the business, dampen communications and hinder relationship building. In many companies, the human resources function has known this for decades and worked to embed their own people throughout other offices and groups to help them more effectively execute their duties companywide. The same thing is now happening with finance in a number of leading organizations. Finance professionals are moving into line-of-business teams and are gaining first-hand knowledge of how their businesses actual function. This gives these professionals insight into how financial decisions and decrees affect day-to-day operations in the front office and out in the field, resulting in better decisions over time. Finance people become true business people.

But that is only half the story. Because finance people tend to be experts in analytics and, as we’ve learned, integrating analytics into a company’s culture can lead to competitive advantage. So, when people who are the strongest champions of analytics are embedded across the company to promote understanding and action, that cultural shift can occur more organically. Finance professionals –already conversant in advanced statistics and quantitative rigor – are well positioned to encourage their colleagues and help them integrate analytics into the fabric of the company. When financial professionals are embedded in different departments and form close partnerships with their peers in other parts of the business, they cultivate a pervasive appreciation for using data to drive growth. And breaking down functional barriers by mixing finance, IT, marketing and operations together in hybrid teams facilitates sharing data, which can spur the development of new opportunities for cost savings and revenue growth.

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