Digital Transformation » Big Data » William Hill’s FD of online operations on raising efficiency


How does finance contribute effectively to the group?

By effectively operating and balancing input, knowledge and expertise across 4 key areas in overall support of the business; as steward (systems & controls), operator (efficiency and insight), business partner (investment design, execution and implementation and forward looking guidance) and strategist (business direction/exploration and influencer). Finance also acts as the conduit between the divisional businesses and the wider corporate group. Working as a center of excellence across all areas of financial reporting, data and insight.

In what ways is business partnering helping marketing achieve these aims?

By partnering with marketing, Finance can help develop, drive and measure marketing plans, initiatives and investment. Supporting marketing in key KPI analysis and interpretation to effectively channel spend and analyze return on investment, for example by comparing acquisition cost to customer value at various stages. In summary by partnering with marketing, finance add independent analysis and insight to marketing ambitions, ideas and help shape future direction.

In what ways are the insights created by finance helping frame the group’s business model?

Using a view of the business unique to finance from access to data, insight and knowledge from across the organization, finance can provide value-add ideas to improve, make more efficient or change/evolve what the business is seeking to achieve. Using that perspective, finance can assist the business in thinking about things differently, using scenario analysis assessments and sensitivity cases to help shape future business models. Partnering on business cases and acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ on the ground, enable finance to support leaders and departments in business model evolution.

How does the changing landscape driven by regulation and market factors demand a dynamic business model is in place?

The landscape is being disrupted by technology, becoming ever more competitive with new entrants, and being impacted by regulatory, tax and payments ecosystem changes, all requiring a flexible approach to business model evolution and a constant eye on future possible changes (landscape/horizon scanning), competitive developments and market forces and shifts.

How should finance ensure it is nimble enough to respond to an adaptive model?

By having the right people, in the right place, at the right time with the right mindset. Having a flexible resource plan, utilising automation where possible and creating centers of excellence striving to achieve a target operating model that takes advantage of scale, technology, co-operation and communication

How is new technology helping finance in this respect?

Enhanced data analytics and tools, with ever faster and more scaleable processing capability, means access to data is quicker and easier. Advanced modeling and analytical tools enable automated insight. Data warehousing and analytical modules enable the business to self service and mean finance can shift focus/resource from report/KPI production to interpretation, insight and value adding activities.

Hear from James Richardson at the CFO Agenda at Twickenham Stadium on 9 May.