When you see someone making poor decisions—risky investments, unrealistic scheduling, foolish health choices—it’s tempting to assume they do not have all the facts. In the “big data” era, however, the facts alone aren’t enough to guarantee dispassionate, fully informed decision-making.

Most organizations already have access to overwhelming amounts of information, from public databases and website traffic reports to business expense tracker apps. They also often have the processing power necessary to sift through and combine it. But without data transparency and user-friendly ways to evaluate this information, it’s neither meaningful nor actionable.

A new report indicates that CFOs are looking to mobile technology and analytics tools as ways to fuel growth and improve insight across organizations, according to an article on AccountingToday.com. In a survey by KPMG and CFO Research,two-thirds of CFOs reported that ungainly enterprise technology and subpar financial and performance data present obstacles to good decision-making.

Many organizations would like to use enterprise data to guide decision-making, but deriving clear, actionable insights from complex data is no simple task. Part of the challenge is to find an analytics platform that’s robust—integrating hundreds of enterprise-information sources and allowing users to browse multidimensional sources—while also user-friendly. An easy place to start is mining your company's expense reports for information like the true cost of sales.

Good decision-making requires transparency in business expense tracking. A good analytics platform like Chrome River ANALYTICS should enable users to move quickly from a global overview to department-level to individual users and transactions, providing both meaningful perspective and fine detail.

With this greater transparency, management is better able to view trends and analyze an organization's expense management, producing actionable reports. Ideally, a platform should enable executives and managers to create dashboards and output a variety of reports without relying on help from technical support.

To make decisions that affect the bottom line, having all the facts is not enough. Actionable data and ease of use are critical to ensuring smooth daily operations and fast, profitable decision-making.

We appreciate your feedback! How does your organization use data assets to guide decision-making? Are key staff members able to manipulate data and generate reports easily, or do they require help from technical support staff?

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10 Questions for Selecting a Global Expense Solution

10 Questions for Selecting a Global Expense Solution

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