Hitting a Home Run with DATA!


Hitting a Home Run with DATA!


Casey was the CFO for the HitEmHard Sporting Goods company. Bats, Balls, and Gloves were their business.


In his college days, Casey was a wannabe catcher, but one collision at the plate was one too many for him. The next best thing seemed to be working for a sporting goods company, so when he had the opportunity to ‘Hit it Out of the Ballpark’ with HitEmHard Sporting Goods, the job as CFO was a dream come true, the next best thing to playing in the ‘BIGS.


For the first couple of months, Casey worked hard at closing the books within two to three weeks of month-end. He thought that was a pretty good average!


But Tommy, the CEO, kept challenging him about the length of time to produce financials and the overall lack of explanation of what the results meant. True, the data was a bit erratic. Casey gave excuse after excuse, blaming the misposting of revenue and expense into the wrong periods and into the wrong categories on the general ledger system and the way the staff categorized every transaction. Casey could only mutter a defense that it was the DATA, not him!


Tommy urged Casey to get his act together or he would be ‘benched.


All this talk of DATA was concerning to Casey. He loved his job but just didn’t know what DATA to rely upon, what analysis he should be doing, nor which key performance indicators Tommy was expecting to see.


So, he turned to his storytelling buddy, Vin, to get some ideas on statistics. When it came to sports stats, Vin was a DATA Junkie who could cite the ‘SLASH Line’ (the combined batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage or AVE, OBP, SLG) for just about any baseball player. But Casey ‘struck outbecause Vin said that although the principles in baseball were the same as in finance, Casey would have to figure out the KPIs that were specifically meaningful to HitEmHard!


So, Casey chatted with Hank, the Financial Reporting Analyst who cranked out the DATA that Casey received each month. Casey wanted to get more from the monthly package so that he could ‘Hit a Home Run’ for Tommy. Casey was figuring out which STATS and METRICS would be most relevant.


Casey then set the bar – he came up with five key performance indicators that varied with the monthly DATA, telling the story of the company’s performance. With a dashboard of analyzed data, Casey would be ‘SAFE!’


We’re at the bottom of the 7th inning.


Would Casey be ‘benched’ or would he be able to stay in the dugout with the rest of the HitEmHard Team?


Casey quickly learned that HitEmHard wasn’t exactly in the Major Leagues when it came to the current financial systems nor for the operational procedures. But Casey knew that the core data existed. He just didn’t know, yet, how to access the information.


Casey could now visualize the report he wanted to prepare for Tommy. Vin would have to stop telling stories and Hank would need to get the DATA out of the system correctly, the first time.


Just like in sports, the world had changed from relying upon old timers’ knowledge to delivering DATA in visual dashboards. Casey wanted to slice and dice the DATA to best configure for KPI evaluation. Casey was sure that Tommy would love the results.


Casey developed a Business Intelligence Roadmap so that the next ‘up at bat’ would have ‘fast pitch’ data being changed into ‘home runs’ for HitEmHard. It included these steps:


1. Build a Data Warehouse of Key Data Elements from All Systems

2. Develop KPIs and map to the Key Data Elements

3. Build easy-to-read Dashboards to report the results

4. Create Analysis Models that could be used for Predictive Forecasting

5. Train staff in how and why data is input and used

6. Incorporate KPIs into the Monthly Financials

7. Automate and reduce the preparation time


Casey imagined he could hear Tommy leading the cheers for Hitting a Home Run!


If your organization is lacking in meaningful DATA, call us, and we’ll help you design the right Business Intelligence Roadmap for your company!

 

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Rubenstein / Justman Management Consultants (RJMC)