Becoming an integral part of your organization’s strategic decision-making process isn’t always easy. In fact, risk managers often say doing so is one of their greatest challenges. However, if you have the data and tools to showcase the value of your programs or your decision making, you’ll likely be able to make your case with great ease.
Why spreadsheets are sabotaging your seat at the table
Senior management is looking for current-state trends and answers to risk questions that arise almost daily. Woe to the risk analyst trying to react to senior management information needs with a manual spreadsheet-based process.
First, spreadsheets do not effectively aggregate the cumulative cost and interdependencies of risks. Second, they often carry hidden costs and actually introduce risk, since they almost always feature rearview data that must be manually collected and updated, and then can’t be audited.
Third, the use of spreadsheets often results in more time spent discussing the validity of data, rather than the meaningful end result of data. These manual processes embedded in spreadsheet-reliant risk management lead to multiple problems, including:
- An inability to determine appropriate corrective actions and track their completion
- Incomplete loss controls, since losses are often not tied to financials
- Accident investigations and root cause analyses that are captured using different tools from each operating unit, with many stored only on paper or as Word documents
- An inability to report on root cause analysis if data is not stored in a common database where it can be tied to other attributes of loss
As such, senior management often has little faith in the data and might assume any risk management program successes are one-off, “luck-of-the-draw” instances–ultimately hindering you from gaining the respect and support you need to make an impact.
Goodbye spreadsheets, hello actionable insights
So if spreadsheets won’t earn you a place at the decision-making table, what will? Integrated risk management technology can help.
Whereas silo-inducing spreadsheets “speak the language” of only one department or one type of data set in each document, the right risk management technology will serve as a single central repository for disparate data that is automatically standardized into information everyone can understand.
Because such technology operates in the cloud, data is automatically collected and updated in real time, thanks to data import and other input tools. The technology surfaces relevant risk information from wherever it’s hiding in your organization; connects it with other internal and external data; and then normalizes it with data processing tools to ensure consistency among the data you’re comparing.
As such, it’s easy to access and analyze up-to-the second risk management data with just a few clicks instead submitting a request to IT or vendors for data that will essentially be out of date once the request is fulfilled.
The right risk management technology will make your risk data dynamic — updated and visualized in real time. This means you can field critical business questions from leadership on the fly. Gone are the days of promising the board you’ll get back to them or spending hours transforming data into visuals that leadership will understand.
A lot can happen in a quarter. Don’t limit your risk analysis to static, rearview-mirror reports and periodic meetings with leadership and the board. Integrated risk management technology surfaces, connects and communicates risk information in ways that drive faster, smarter business decisions — providing the intelligence needed to power effective integrated risk management and essentially earn you a seat at the decision-making table.