7 Lessons on Leveraging Data Analytics for Tax

  • 28 September 2020

Data analytics is a straightforward concept—the process of extracting meaning from raw data—that has achieved enormous technological sophistication in recent years. When companies let loose artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to sniff out hidden treasures within vast collections of data, the results can be astounding, and highly profitable.

However, companies cannot capitalise on data analytics’ findings unless that meaning is clearly communicated to the folks in the business who act on those insights. Sometimes, analytics teams communicate less than effectively, according to a CIO article by John Edwards that examines “sure-fire ways to sour the business on analytics.”

Recognising when something is done incorrectly, of course, represents a helpful way to learn how to do something better. On that count, the article is packed with instructive suggestions on how to get key decision-makers excited about analytics.

John was kind enough to include some of my thoughts in his discussion on the importance of understanding your audience when you’re telling your analytics story. It’s a simple yet important point, and worth bearing in mind as the tax data analytics mindset takes hold in more corporate tax departments. Like anyone else who gets excited about the power of numbers and what you can do with them, tax executives should understand their audiences when promoting their ideas.

I’ll rephrase John’s key points here while recommending that you take a look at the article for more details and context:

  1. Build a solid data strategy, and make sure it’s aligned with the business;
  2. Include business users in your planning and discussions;
  3. Understand your audience;
  4. Simplify the message while steering clear of jargon;
  5. Never underestimate the power of a picture;
  6. Focus more on being comprehensible than on being comprehensive; and
  7. Think like a businessperson.

Done right, tax analytics can help tax functions make smarter, real-time decisions to improve business performance and drive strategy.

Please remember that the Tax Matters provides information for educational purposes, not specific tax or legal advice. Always consult a qualified tax or legal advisor before taking any action based on this information. The views and opinions expressed in Tax Matters are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or opinion of Vertex Inc.

Blog Author

Robin Allen, Vertex

Robin Allen

Senior Director, Program Management - Commercial Software

See All Resources by Robin

Robin is Senior Director at Vertex, holding both leadership and management roles in the Commercial Software and Technology organisation, responsible for supporting and enabling projects and product programs. Previously, she was the Director of Cloud Program Management at Vertex. She is an accomplished information technology executive with over 20 years of experience. Before joining Vertex, Robin was a virtual Chief Information Officer at Contigex, where she provided oversight of people, processes, and technologies within the company’s IT organisation to ensure they delivered outcomes that supported the goals of the business. Robin has a BBA with a concentration in Management Information Systems and a minor in Psychology from Iona College, as well as an MBA from Villanova’s Executive MBA program.

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