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Good to Great: How to Scale With an Outsourced CFO

Small to medium-sized businesses reach a point in their growth where access to the skills and talents of an experienced Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is required.  The question they often have? Is there enough work to warrant a full-time CFO? The answer is yes.....

Strategy - 5 min read

Understanding data isn't always straightforward, especially if your role is outside the finance department. Using data visualisation tools can turn complex concepts into understandable values that are easier to comprehend and can significantly enhance decision-making and drive business growth. 


5 Tips to Consider When Choosing a Data Visualisation Tool

While it is easy for analysts to pull numbers, offering actionable information to stakeholders is another ballgame. Utilising the right data visualisation tool can eliminate the risk of misinterpretation for executives, stakeholders, and the like by communicating information quickly and accurately. 

1. Don't Cut Corners

Investing in the correct data visualisation tool is critical. There are a plethora of technology tools out there––a quick Google search of data visualisation tools will tell you so. Hence, it's essential to find one that best fits your needs. 

2. Ease-of-Use

It's often thought that powerful tools are better. Maybe it reflects the price tag or the idea of having all the bells and whistles. Not so. 

Some data visualisation tools are user-friendly, while others have a high learning curve, which can be costly if you don't have the resources to equip non-technical business users adequately.

Opting for an intuitive platform that offers user-friendly tutorials and support at hand will help with the learning curve of initiating a new tool. 

Alongside the educational resources, the platform offers, implementing a training program on the new data visualisation tool will ensure that your team is across the capabilities it provides. 

3. One Single Dashboard

Performance-wise, choose a data visualisation tool that can handle large or even multiple data sets in a single visualisation, with different chart, graph, and map types options. 

4. Allow for Data Transformation

Integrating a tool that has the flexibility to transform data without relying on a data engineer puts the efficacy of communication directly in your hands. You want the capability to create custom calculations with ease.

5. Optimal Automation

Refresh. Click. Data imported. That right there is the ease of use you are looking for, a data visualisation tool that can connect directly to your data source. Whether it comes from a spreadsheet, internal database or Google Analytics, you want to ensure that the tool you select offers optimal automation.


Data Visualisation Techniques: Flexibility is Key.

When you choose the correct visualisation, you have the power to communicate the most critical elements of your data, initiating new insights and meaningful outcomes. 

The data employed and how you wish to express it determines the technique chosen. There are nearly as many techniques as data visualisation tools, so let's look at three of the most common.


A chart is the easiest way to show the result of one or several data sets. One of the most basic data visualisation techniques, the pie chart, can be used across various applications. They are relatively simple, easy to read, and ideal for presenting key takeaways. They are, however, less than ideal if your audience requires a more thorough explanation of complex information.


Like charts, plots vary. They generally allow for the distribution of two or more data sets. They can be presented in a 2D or 3D format to illustrate the relationship between the data set and given parameters. Scatter plots are often used for large complex sets of data. Scatter plots represent data for two variables by points plotted against the horizontal and vertical axis. 

Diagrams and Matrices

Complex data is often visualised by a diagram, with a multidimensional capability to include various sets in a single visualisation. A matrix is another advanced data visualisation technique that can help define the correlation between multiple data sets.


So What's Out There?

The available platforms are endless when looking to better use your business data––to kick-start your search, check out Microsoft's Power BI. It is just one of the highly-rated platforms available in 2022.

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence platform that allows users, even those that are non-technical, to access vast volumes of data from multiple sources. It has the scale to analyse, share, and promote insights across an organisation while maintaining data accuracy, consistency, and security.

Ultimately data visualisation tools have the technology to harness the power of your data. When selecting the right data visualisation tool for your business, focus on the abovementioned areas. They will help you to evaluate different data visualisation tools and find the best fit. 

For added value, connect with Altus. They can assist with cash flow management and reporting to business planning and technology solutions.

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