What is Data Visualization?

We have all become addicted to instant gratification. The myriad of connected devices allows virtually unlimited amounts of information to be “just a click away.” Because of this reality, it is becoming increasingly important to deliver content and insight just as quickly and in a visually appealing way. This increasingly faster speed of decision-making is a driving force behind the growing popularity of data-visualization.

In the most basic sense, data visualization is the visual representation of key metrics and trends. It can be consumed through a variety of media, including, for example, graphs in an Excel spreadsheet. It can extend far beyond just presenting such graphs in a monthly PowerPoint presentation to senior management, however, and can include the representation of large data sets via online media, segmented at the individual record level. In this post, we look at how Treasury can move from the basics of data visualization to advanced business intelligence that provides various levels of visibility and drill-down capability into company activities, P&Ls, and forecasts all at the touch of a button.

Treasury Applications

The increased demand for organizations to communicate results and findings is the basis for the growing need to be able to demonstrate proficiency.

In the Association for Finance Professionals’ Strategic Treasury Survey, “73% of organizations report that senior management seeks greater visibility to organizations’ liquidity and risk exposures.”

Treasury departments across all organizations are not only working to meet regulatory requirements, but also working to feed information to management about how much money is available to spend on any given day. This data is paramount in budget planning, investment decisions, and risk management. Data visualization helps provide answers to commonly asked questions, but great tools morph beyond that into business intelligence by creating tools that allow users to use self-service features to find answers to questions or identify questions to ask.

Historically, Excel and PowerPoint continue dominate the way information is analyzed and shared. These tools are useful, but can have limitations on data analysis, require a significant amount of preparation time, and leave much room for human error. Many organizations prefer a data-visualization platform but are not yet using a Treasury Management System (TMS). Instead, Treasury departments frequently bring in separate and additional, costly tools like Tableau or Qlik to layer on top of their ERP and manual Treasury processes. These solutions often require developing a bespoke database for Treasury information, which can be costly and require internal IT builds over extended timelines.

Instead of trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, Treasury departments can skip the extra time and expense and implement a Treasury Management Solution like Kyriba, which provides not only data visualization but also the ability to capture and analyze the large volume of information that can be provided by your banks to optimize a company’s operations.

Don’t Go It Alone

Given the onerous task of going it alone, there is little surprise that many Treasury Management System providers offer data warehousing and data-visualization tools within their platforms. The importance of self-service, user-friendly data access is growing.

“At Kyriba, we on-boarded more than 50 of our corporate clients with dozens of cash management, forecasting, payments and compliance dashboards to create a more interactive analytical experience. Some technology providers have made visual dashboards their entire product with no traditional ‘user interface’ at all.”

If your organization is seeking to capture the value that data visualizations and business intelligence can bring, contact MorganFranklin today to take the first step in building new and fast insights.

By Ken Fick

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