Provide data that drives wise decisions


Provide the Data and Information to make Wise Decisions. 

As an accountant, you must provide the correct data to your clients. Providing good data is the solid foundation for all your clients’ business decisions. 

Once your clients have correct data, they can make wise choices, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, clients don’t know how to effectively use the data to find answers to the questions they pose. 

You can help your clients ask the right questions about the data you provide by presenting it as information. Data turns into information with context. By doing this, you will increase your value while improving your client’s decision-making for their business. When your clients don’t understand their data, they may miss opportunities to propel their business forward. 

Your client’s terrain is getting more and more challenging to maneuver. They are facing financial and operational challenges that they have not encountered in the past. They do not have the time to decipher spreadsheet data. They must receive correct data they can understand to pose essential questions and find answers in the data hidden in spreadsheets. 

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Proper Presentation of Data is Vital.

Business complexity is challenging for all who are trying to make solid business decisions to survive and thrive. Your clients are desperate to leverage data to improve growth, and they want confidence in their ability to ask the right questions and find answers from their data. 

The top-performing businesses use data five times more often than lower-performing businesses. 

A businesses’ most significant obstacles in achieving a competitive advantage is the lack of understanding to analyze their data to improve business effectiveness. 

Your clients are frustrated and overwhelmed with your spreadsheets. 

So how can your clients use the data you provide to make better decisions that can keep up with changes in the business world? 

Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom

There is a hierarchical model called the DIKW pyramid that represents the steps in decision-making that businesses can follow to understand how they can make more informed decisions. 

Data is the foundation of a good business strategy and starts with you, the financial professional. Gathering and presenting financial is where your firm should shine. But raw data is overwhelming to your clients, causing your clients to become lost in rows and columns or ignoring the data altogether. Either way, the data becomes unuseful. 

By providing data in a format that is easy to compare, use, and understand, you remove several hurdles that cause your client’s decision fatigue.  

By presenting your data as information, your clients can get into their data and start asking the right questions to help them move their business forward. 

Information is raw data that has context. Removing data from the cells of a spreadsheet and presenting it as a visual metric helps your clients see data in a way that helps them understand it. It allows them to put the data into context. 

Your clients will better appreciate and understand their financial statements when you display data as a visual story

Tuning data into consumable information is where you, as a financial professional, can differentiate yourself. Data and information are the bread and butter of the reports. When you present accurate data so clients can gain vital insights, you and your firm become an indispensable asset.   

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In order to help you the best, tell us what kind of business would describe you?

Knowledge is your client’s responsibility. Knowledge comes when the data and information you provide combine with your clients’ experience to create and develop frameworks, theories, and potential solutions for the problems or opportunities ahead of them. 

You can provide direction and suggestions in this stage, but your clients usually occupy it. 

Wisdom is utopia, a state of awareness. When a client obtains wisdom, they can make significant decisions with confidence. 

As a financial professional, you can not provide this level to your clients. It can only come through an aware business person that understands the value of the data and information you provide. At this level, clients use data, information, and knowledge to make wise choices. This level is a place that is not achieved by most businesses

Why? Because they are usually stuck in the data level trying to figure out which way is up.

Their lack is your gain. By providing the correct data in an informative way, you will be able to offer more value. With the right data displayed as consumable information, you can help your clients progress from data to wisdom, where a higher cognitive level of business strategy occurs. 

Wrapping it all up.

When creating your reports, make sure you highlight data from your client’s spreadsheet into consumable bites that help turn vital financial data into knowledge. 

Be sure you utilize the metrics that showcase their data in a way that makes sense, allowing them to understand their performance and can focus on things that matter to their business. 

The best thing about visually highlighting data is the stimulation it provides your clients to see correlations between previously hidden items. 

Understand that having raw data is never enough. As a financial professional, your goal should be to present the correct data as information to your clients, allowing them to align that information with their experience turning it into knowledge, and make wise decisions. 

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Ask yourself these questions.

  • Do your clients understand the data in the reports that you provided them? 
  • Can your clients use the reports you provide to make data-driven decisions? 
  • Do your clients value your reports?

If not, you need to look at what you can do to improve your reports.

If this seems overwhelming, there are solutions available to automate most of these processes so you and your firm can help lay the foundation for good data business decisions. 


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