Five Role Models for Data-Driven Finance

Prophix Symbol 1 Col Spot 185 01Prophix Mar 24, 2022, 7:25:00 AM
Do you know anyone in Finance who is interested in being less data-driven? Is anyone in your department leading the charge for decisions based on gut feelings and wild speculation? Most likely not. All of us want to make the most of the data we have to help guide the business to greater profitability. The problem is not in the intent — it’s in the execution. It can be a challenge to adapt a Finance department to a forward-looking, data-crunching, forecasting machine. That’s especially true when trying to get other departments to share their data, too. Still, it’s a challenge well worth facing, and the obstacles to a truly data-driven Finance department can be overcome. Need proof? These role models in Finance can help inspire you.

Five Role Models for Data-Driven Finance

These five women come from diverse backgrounds and have a wide variety of work experience, but they’re all doing incredible work with data and deserve your attention.

1. Kimberly Ellison-Taylor

Through almost 17 years as the Executive Director of Finance Thought Leadership at Oracle and leadership within the American Institute of CPAs and Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA), Kimberly has infused her work in Finance with strategic technology to make the most out of the data in front of her. The combination of her financial prowess and 20+ years of board experience has made her a role model in our industry. Notable Quote:  "Just because it's improbable, doesn't mean it's impossible." Start Here: Kimberly Ellison-Taylor on the Breaking Beliefs Podcast

2. Denise Feece

With over two decades in various Finance roles, Denise has proven herself to be a whip-smart Finance leader. Her data acumen earns executive attention in every role she’s been in. With her ability to transform numbers into meaningful insights, she has noted: "The CEO would walk down the hall with a question, and I would sometimes be able to answer it on the spot." Denise is the perfect role model of a career Finance leader. She demonstrates how smarts, guts, and the right technology create an unbeatable combination. Notable Quote: “I started to get invited to meetings because I was providing the data. We started to be able to focus more on ‘what do we do about these situations?’ rather than ‘what is the right information?’” Start Here: How I Became a Trusted Advisor and Built a Finance Career

3. Judy Romano

Judy is the VP and Chief Financial Officer, Commercial & Technology at International Hotels Group. She’s committed to building diversity in Finance, both in addressing skills gaps and promoting diverse hiring practices. In addition, Judy is pushing her team to adopt a forward-looking mindset, including embracing automation for low-value tasks, and focusing on a more advisory role. Notable Quote: "Leaders must create a culture of continuous learning and upskilling. The responsibility is shared. Employees and employers must continuously look for ways to acquire new skills to keep up and get ahead." Start Here: 2020 Lessons Learned that Prepare Us for 2021

4. Sezaneh (Suzy) Taherian

Sezaneh serves as CFO of Silicon Valley powertrain company Wrightspeed. She is a firm believer of utilizing meaningful data to inform decision-making at a board level. In addition to her work as a CFO and board member, she is sharing her experience to inform the next generation of finance leaders as a professor at UC Davis and a Forbes contributor. Notable Quote: "Boards need to decide quickly, but analytically. In the era of big data and high-powered analytics and artificial intelligence, board members must digest data fast and make the tough calls." Start Here: Breaking the Mold of the Board of Directors

5. Jennifer Lee Wilson

In her role as Partner and Co-Founder of ConvergenceCoaching, LLC, Jennifer consistently connects women in Finance and accounting and provides professional development resources. She has helped mentor the next generation of Finance leaders for over 20 years, uplifting and educating her colleagues and the profession. For her service, Jennifer was named one of 2019’s most powerful women in accounting by CPA Practice Advisor. As we seek to bring more diverse voices into Finance, Jennifer is an irreplaceable ally. Notable Quote: "Firms, companies, education and government all need strong female accounting leaders." Start Here: Jennifer Lee Wilson Interview

Follow These Leaders to the Future of Finance

Our team at Prophix is dedicated to elevating the Finance function. Leaders like these five make that job easier and serve as a role model for anyone looking to become more data-driven. Increase the speed, accuracy, and flexibility of your budgeting: Check out our latest guide.
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Ambitious finance leaders use Prophix to drive progress. By improving the speed and accuracy of decision making, Prophix’s Financial Performance Platform elevates the talents of finance teams to do their best work. Crush complexity, reduce uncertainty, and illuminate insights with access to best-in-class AI insights and planning, budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and consolidation functionalities. Prophix is a private company, backed by Hg Capital, a leading investor in software and services businesses. More than 2,500 active customers across the globe rely on Prophix to achieve organizational success.

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