Finance Indaba 2017: Decision Inc is your single-purpose information management partner

"Decision Inc was created with the vision of offering these organisations a single purpose information management business to allow them to make better decisions across multiple divisions and sectors," says Nick Bell, CEO of Decision Inc, a silver partner at the Finance Indaba Africa 2017 on 12 and 13 October 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

  • Finance professionals and accountants register for the Finance Indaba for free with code FB2017!

In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the Indaba partners, asking them why they are joining the event and what their most important message for finance professionals is.

Do you want to hear how Decision Inc can boost your progress with business intelligence? Do you want to be informed about the latest and greatest in finance? Then don't miss the Finance Indaba Africa 2017.

The Finance Indaba is the biggest annual event on the continent for financial managers and specialists who are seeking partnerships to drive progress. Thousands of delegates will gain valuable insights into realising financial performance and growth, becoming more efficient and accessing funding, among a host of other opportunities from leading players in financial services.

Please tell us about your background.
"
I started my first company BusinessIntelligent in 2008 and we grew to be one of the leading business intelligence companies in the country.

"A challenge we found for many of our clients is that information they need to run their businesses and enable decision-making is often not siloed and we needed to expand into more areas than just business intelligence. No competitor in our market was providing this service.

"Decision Inc was created with the vision of offering these organisations a single purpose information management business to allow them to make better decisions across multiple divisions and sectors.

"Decision Inc was founded in 2013 and now has 150 staff members in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Sydney and 240 clients, with prudent acquisitions and organic growth getting us to where we are at the moment."

Why will you be present at the Finance Indaba?
"If you are look at our client base, more so than ever before, finance teams are helping to drive change and improvement. Information is the key weapon of choice for any organisation and finance is the central hub here. CFOs and their teams are the people organisation are turning to as drivers of change and, as an information management company, it is important that we engage with them. We have a great understanding of their world and technology and are a trusted partner of the CFO in driving this transformation.

"CFO SA, its magazine and the Finance Indaba represent an important enablement opportunity for us to engage with clients and potential clients in a peer-to-peer conversation."

What will you be talking about or showcasing?
"
We want to talk about how organisations can become more enabled and make better decisions - by knowing more about my past, I can impact my future more positively. Companies are looking to data analytics and data science to complement their traditional historic view and asking how they can change their business to achieve goals. Thinking about the future, planning and executing strategies, while being flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances is crucial."

What challenges can you help finance professionals/firms with in 2017?
"We've seen a massive focus on businesses striving to drive better returns, unlock potential and rid themselves of inefficiencies. In order to operate better, you need to know both how you operate currently and how you want to operate in the future. How do you adapt quickly? In becoming more flexible and agile, big businesses are start to running like startups, making decisions and accessing and analysing data faster. This change is driven by the shifting world around us.

"The consumer market is incredibly fluid, with consumers becoming more empowered and enjoying access to a multitude of options. Competition is fierce. You have to do a better job of running your business and unlock potential, otherwise your competitor will eat your lunch. Businesses need to be able to adapt and stay relevant, using information to drive this transformation. We are at the centre of this."

What are the challenges of working across a number of sectors?
"Each sector has its own theme and nuances. If you think of a mining client, it's far less about selling and more about optimisation and efficiencies. FMCG businesses are about that as well, but the role of the customer is critical. The common theme is on doing more with what they've got. Working capital is an important point of discussion for everybody. How do I use my cash better and unlock more funds?"

How do you help your clients deal with the breakneck rate of change when it comes to technology?
"A lot of our competitors have built successful businesses by simply providing resources and bodies to do work and selling tech based on features and functions. More and more, however, it is about the application of this technology. What benefit can you bring your client? Our business and market has shifted. Clients want to know how the tech impacts value and they are after expertise."

"Decision Inc has been very competitive because we've recognised this shift and have been able to adapt. Tech is a brilliant enabler and we've seen our customers become more comfortable with doing things quickly."

Tell us about your partnership with Adaptive Insights.
"We have a successful EPM business, but recognised the challenge for both big and small organisations in improving the degree of sophistication and capability in budgeting and planning. So many companies work with Excel and rudimentary tools, which makes budgets complicated to manage difficult to do accurately.

"The secondary challenge was the cost of solution - it was very high and historically, only for the biggest organisation. We've partnered with Adaptive to put proper planning and budgeting capability in the hands of every organisation and in doing so driving a greater ROI and improved capability."