Financial data is more than just a measurement of a company’s success. It’s also a valuable tool that can be used by the company, its competitors, and several other industries to inform numerous vital decisions. Which departments and systems should a company focus on improving? How can a company predict and outflank a rival’s business strategy? How much risk is a government, bank, investor, or insurer taking on in supporting a company? These are all questions financial data can answer.
There’s one other question on top of each of these that needs answering: does an organization know where to find financial data when and how they need it? It can come in some standardized forms and from some typical sources. But there are other types of data out there – collectively referred to as ‘alternative data’ – that many organizations are taking advantage of to boost their financial analysis. What does it look like, and where can it be found?
By gaining a deeper understanding of financial and alternative data, you can make more facets of your organization more data-driven. You can also unlock new forms of financial analysis that allow you to assess the financial performance of an organization – whether that’s your own, a rival, or a company you’re looking at investing in – from unique angles. All of this can improve your organization’s decision-making with assessing your operational efficiency, and with weighing the opportunities and risks associated with specific business or investment strategies.
We provide some general information on what financial data is and where it can be sourced from. We also briefly explain how financial data influences business decisions in various industries.
We discuss some of the common forms traditional financial data comes in, and what each of them reveal about a company’s finances. We also introduce some alternative types of financial data, with a particular focus on how geospatial data is collected and what it can reveal.
We dive into more detail about some specific business applications financial data is used for. In addition, we give examples of industries where they’re typically used, and illustrate why effectively managing financial data is crucial for performing each of these functions.
We list some examples of companies that curate financial and alternative data, making it easier to process for organizations that need it. Furthermore, we offer some sample use cases that each company’s data could be an asset for.