How Does Business Intelligence Transform Management Control?

Digital transformation concerns all the areas of a company, including management control.

Faced with a growing volume of data, an accumulation of reports and many other challenges, the business must respond to important modernization and optimization needs.

In this context, it is key to link Business Intelligence and Management Control. This has significant consequences for the profession.

More secure and reliable data

Data plays a key role in management controllers’ job. From collection to analysis and extraction, data is omnipresent in their daily activity.

In this context, the reliability of the data is essential to enable them to carry out relevant analyses. In conjunction with the IT department, the management controller must work to implement an effective data governance policy, in order to manage the database infrastructure and access controls.

The implementation of a Business Intelligence project is also an excellent way to guarantee the accuracy and homogeneity of the data. BI is hinged on four key steps: data collection, integration, distribution and finally data restitution. This particular architecture makes it possible to rationalize data, but also to clean and audit it regularly. This enables management control to reach its full potential.

Enriched data for better decision-making

Historically, management control was limited to the company’s internal data, which, although they still play a vital role, can now be enriched with external data thanks to Business Intelligence.

Data relating to sales figures and market shares of competitors, order books, production volumes, logistics information, etc. is increasingly available and accessible, making it possible to complete the management controller`s analyses and thus to improve decision-making within the organization. 

Business Intelligence tools are capable of integrating these data, even if they come from different sources. Thus, the management controller is no longer limited to measuring the financial KPIs that are essential for the company. They can go further and exploit the entirety of the data at their disposal.

The management controller: a true partner

With the emergence of Business Intelligence, the role of the management controller is undergoing an unprecedented transformation.

Traditionally, the controller is considered a technician, responsible for producing figures and evaluating the activities of the different departments of a company. They also act as ‘safeguard’ limiting budgetary excesses.

However, things are changing. Today, managers expect controllers to be able to understand their decisions while assessing the related risks. They must also be able to support operational profiles in achieving their objectives. Finally, they must be able to make proposals and bring new ideas for the management of company performance.

Thus, the management controller of tomorrow is not a technician or a safeguard, but a true partner to executives and operational managers.

Simpler and more efficient processes

With their new role as business partners, management controllers are now directly involved in decision-making and work hand in hand with the different company departments.

Actually, data visualization and business intelligence tools are great allies in this strategic mission. They make it possible to exploit all the potential of data in order to support decision-makers in their choices, but also to bring a different vision to the company.

Thus, new processes have emerged, starting with rolling forecasts. These financial forecasts, which predict the company’s future performance based on existing data, are increasingly used in management control.

Despite this, many organizations continue to use Excel for their reporting. Although powerful, this software is quickly revealing its limits, compared to a Business Intelligence tool which has advanced features. From financial statements to budget planning, BI does not only simplify processes, but also significantly improves their efficiency.

Through Business Intelligence, management control becomes more agile and responsive, offering a real competitive advantage to the company.

Better transmission of information

By presenting financial indicators in dynamic dashboards, the management controller can provide managers with even more relevant, and above all, more practical tips. Indeed, one of the strengths of Business Intelligence lies in its capacity to transform complex data into information that everyone can understand.

The integration of enriched data in the analyses of management controllers can also help controllers fulfill their role as advisors and partners to top management. Here, BI is a valuable tool for identifying new opportunities, enhance the company’s business model and increase its overall performance.

As mentioned above, management control is no longer just about limiting expenses and reporting: the governance of activities and available resources is now an important part of its activity. Through business intelligence tools, management controllers can identify the most relevant data, but above all transmit information efficiently.

They must also take into account the changes brought about by BI within the Finance Department. From invoicing to accounting and customer orders, more and more operations are now carried out in real time. This new situation requires ever greater agility and adaptation, to ensure relevant reporting in all circumstances.

Saving precious time

Last but not least: the adoption of a Business Intelligence tool enables management controllers to save a significant amount of time in their daily operations.

Collecting, extracting, processing, compiling data… These tasks can be particularly time-consuming, especially if they are carried out with unsuitable software such as Excel. The situation is all the more problematic as the volumes of data to be managed continue to grow.

Christine CARRACO, management controller of the Rueil-Malmaison municipality, attests that adopting a BI tool such as DigDash Enterprise significantly saves time:

‘Until now, we had to extract data from Business Objects and copy it into Excel for our analyses. We had reached a point where this method was no longer useful to us, as there were too many operations involved. Today, we compile data from various sources into DigDash.’

Thus, for management controllers, BI is a great opportunity to break free from tedious tasks such as extracting and compiling data, as well as designing the most basic reports.

They can thus focus on in-depth data analysis, while fully playing their new role as advisors to managers. This will give a new meaning to their job and contribute to their personal and professional fulfillment.

 

Through Business Intelligence, management controllers’ jobs are changing. More agile and more responsive, they can now depend on reliable and enriched data that facilitate their daily work. Equipped with a data visualization tool, they are becoming real information providers, but also first-rate advisors for top management. Finally, the management controllers of tomorrow are fulfilled and valued professionals, who can devote more time to the main tasks involved in their jobs: analysis and consulting.