Standout Stories

Metric of the month… There’s an unmistakable buzz in the business community today about big data and business analytics and how the two of them can be used to help marketing people destroy the competition and score big revenue gains. So where does finance come in? Is the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) expert playing coach, quarterback, or bystander? I have strong opinions on this, but first let’s look at how finance has been doing with its traditional performance management toolkit— specifically, the sales forecast.

This month’s metric looks at the relative percentage error for the total sales forecast of 410 companies that provided information to APQC, the nonprofit business benchmarking and research firm I work for. The top performers, the top quartile of the total data set, tolerate an error rate of 1.50% of sales or less. Read article.

Technology and the Internet of things… Many people think the Internet of Things (IoT) is about your toaster talking to your refrigerator. While there will no doubt one day be very useful consumer IoT applications, more immediately there are many industrial applications, and many more potential ones, to consider.

This article, the first of three on the IoT, constructs a framework for precision technology — that is, an organization of the technologies that will enable the building of precision machines. The second article will take the point of view of a machine manufacturer and discuss the value of using such technology to build precision machines. The third article will discuss how such machines can be used to power precision industries like farming, transportation, healthcare, construction, and power. Read article.

The future of finance… Today’s finance professionals envision a bright future, but they also say that further developing their effective use of technology will determine their success to a large degree. This was a primary theme to emerge from a recent study conducted by CFO Research and sponsored by SAP. Interact now.

Headlines

Sandridge Declares Bankruptcy to Restructure Debt

In a familiar refrain, SandRidge says the oil price slump has left it unable to service the debt load it took on while aggressively pursuing growth.

 

Pumped: CPI Lifted by Gas Prices

Energy prices rose 3.4%, including an 8.1% increase in the amount consumers paid for gasoline.

 

Metric of the Month: Sales Forecast Errors

If finance is wielding blunt forecasting tools, whether for inventory cost or revenue, the whole picture can crack.

 

The Wide World of IoT and Precision Technology

Think CRM and ERP were transformative? The Internet of Things promises to bring far more dramatic change to business.

 

Finance Professionals Get Smaller Salary Increases

Finance professionals’ base salaries rose 3.6%, with assistant controllers and FP&A analysts averaging the largest year-over-year pay gains.

 

Industrial Production Rises On Higher Utility Demand

Demand for electricity and natural gas returned to a more normal level, and manufacturing output rose 0.3%.

 

A Peek into the Future of the Finance Profession

Today’s finance professionals envision a bright future, but they also say that further developing their effective use of technology will determine their success to a large degree.

 

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