Improving MI – FD Recruit Regional Conference Workshop
Improving the use of management information (MI) to help drive business forwards
Used effectively, Management Information systems can provide essential, up to date information to shape business strategy.
Equally getting a system that will tell you what you want to know, and that can be integrated across all parts of a business can be a major investment – of both time and funds.
At one of our recent FD Recruit conferences, delegates – made up of Finance Directors and CFOs discussed how to best use MI to drive business forward in the workshop sessions.
The groups shared their experiences and we have compiled the below guide from their feedback of things to consider when implementing MI systems and how to get the most out of existing MI.
• What do you need to know
Having a wealth of data is one thing, but using it effectively is another. When implementing new systems, start with what you need to know about and why, rather than being impressed by all the different information a system can produce.
• Full integration
Systems need to incorporate all departments within a business – it is integral that operations talks to finance for example and equally that multiple offices, or global locations are all utilising the same system for information to be truly accurate and beneficial.
• MI champions
MI needs to be led from a strategic level, however it is often seen as an IT function – management needs to buy in to what MI can help them with and be open to change and react to what it tells them. It is often beneficial to assign one person or team to lead the MI process.
Once you have the data, decide how best to share it – develop simple reporting systems that are easy to understand. Dashboard features will give you great figures that you can dip in and out of but you need to make sure it’s giving you figures on trends and KPIs that you really need to be analysing. Make sure the information in your reports is relevant, pertinent and consistent.
• Start basic with the potential to develop
It is easy to be impressed by all singing all dancing systems but it is often better to start with something that suits your immediate needs that crucially has the potential to grow and build with future plans – look for systems that can be scaled up and tailored to your specific business activities.
• MI impacts
Make sure that as much time and effort goes into using the MI as analysing data and compiling reports.
Date Posted: October 16th 2013
Posted By: Phil Scott