Management Information Systems, or "MIS" have, with everything else as a result of digital media and the Internet, evolved to a point now where the smallest of businesses can operate like the biggest of businesses gathering key operational data that is relevant, available in real time, and very useful in making business decisions. So much so that for any business NOT to have the information at its fingertips puts it at a very competitive disadvantage.
In today's business environment, trends and results need to be recognized much earlier than they turn into cash to be able to capture market share and be successful. Key Performance Indicators ("KPI's") for business are much more than Sales Revenue, Average Ticket Price, Cost of Sales, all the financial results measures. New KPI's such as:
- Visitors and Views;
are now as, if not more important than the financial measures, as they provide insight into how the business is progressing and can predict what the financial measures are going to be. This allows for decisions to be made much sooner, and with the right systems, in real-time, avoiding "too little-too late" scenarios, and ensuring that activities and expenditures are being applied to and focused on activities that are working. This boosts sales, most likely at a lower cost, but for sure with a higher ROI.
The CFO of today and tomorrow must be much more than a financial bean counter. Now more than ever, he or she needs to know all the types of beans to be counted, financial or otherwise. Things like visits, conversions, leads, opportunities, and such like can be tracked just like money, and one needs to integrate the flow of these non-financial KPI's with the financial ones, then track and report in a timely accurate informative fashion.
Software such as Google Analytics, Google Apps, HubSpot, SharpSpring, Moz, Salesforce.com, MethodCRM, ProfitSee, Xero, Quickbooks, Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, Mixpanel, Mailchimp, AdJuggler and I'm sure others, can be utilized and the CFO of today needs to be aware how they can within the context of his business, along with their connectability with one another. Take a read of what Wikipedia has to say about today's CFO.
Watch for future postings in this Blog on the key MIS tools which we have reviewed worked with and find to be most useful in delivering on what all businesses these days, large or small, require to be even competitive.