Of all the days for numbers geeks to get noticed, today has to be near the top of the list. Pi Day—3.14—is one of those rare instances in which mathematics takes center stage, providing the opportunity to share the magic of numbers with right-brainers in interesting and engaging ways.
So how might number crunchers make the most of this fleeting spotlight? Well, how about using Pi Day as your platform to help make numbers more relevant and relatable to business partners for the other 364 (365 this leap year) days of the year?
Here’s a four-ingredient pi recipe with a dash of fun to get the numbers working for you.
1. Seek that single source of truth
Sure, numbers are great and all, but in business today there are just too many of them. The amount of data finance teams have to manage is growing exponentially, making it hard to pin down the best data to use and share—especially in near real time. In Adaptive Insights CFO Indicator Q3 2015 report, the majority of CFOs surveyed said keeping data siloed (69%) as well as inaccurate data for forecasting and planning (40%) were among top financial mistakes companies make. Moving toward a single source of truth—a core set of data common across the company—creates more visibility and clarity into what data means while reducing conflict. By developing greater trust and confidence in the data, your team can build deeper engagement and collaboration.
2. Turn data into meaningful insights
Both a single source of truth and leveraging dashboards can help position your finance team to be more strategic. You can then take it to the next level by collaborating with business partners to identify ways in which data and insights support key initiatives and align to the strategic priorities and goals of the organization. Easy-to-understand analytics can help inform decision-making, improve forecasting, make adjustments in real time, measure results, and manage corporate performance.
3. Move toward rolling forecasts
It’s hard to make numbers come to life if they are, in essence, dead for most of the year in a dusty report on a shelf. Rolling forecasts permit tweaks to the financial recipe throughout the year, allowing for updates and adjustments to account for and respond to changing business conditions. In our webcast “Tame Your Budgeting Process With Rolling Forecasts,” we share advice and insights to help you get there.
4. Have some fun with it
Business partners are far more likely to get comfortable with numbers and data if they start feeling more comfortable with your team. Soft skills aren’t typically a strong suit for finance types, but events such as Pi Day offer plenty of fun ways to lighten up and build some relationships. While it may be too late to organize the pie-throwing event, you can have a pi recitation contest to see who can list the most digits of the constant. Or simply order up some pizza pies to share with business partners to mark the day, and create some goodwill in the process.
So leverage your knowledge of numbers to improve strategic decision-making and collaboration on your finance team and throughout the company. Who knows, you might have more numbers converts by the time Square Root Day rolls around on April 4.