Oldcastle CFO “tells the story behind the numbers”



In this video, CFO of Oldcastle, Ian Crabtree speaks about empowering the business with solid financial decisions. Ian explains his goal to “tell the story behind numbers”—and how Tableau makes this process faster and cheaper.

Tableau: Can you talk a little bit about your perspective on finance?
Ian Crabtree, Chief Financial Officer: The reason I'm in finance is, you know, ever since a young age, I see it as the heartbeat of a company. It's connected to the sales, it's connected to the logistics, to the procurement, to the production, to the marketing.

Tableau: How does that apply to your current role as CFO?
Ian: In my role, I see two real fundamentals. The first is I have to give the decision maker a good set of financials that he or she can use to make a better decision tomorrow. Once I've done that, I need to help them make that decision. And the best way to do that is to tell the story behind the numbers.

Tableau: How do you define success?
Ian: A better CFO, for me, is being a true business partner to the business president. So, from my perspective, how I define success for me in my role as a CFO is being a wingman to all the decisions that are being made.

From my perspective, the faster, the easier I can get information to the right people and they can also believe in that information and make a decision, then I'm being successful. With tools like Tableau, I can do that far quicker, cheaper, faster, and in so doing, I get a kick. I help the business be more successful.

Tableau: What is your favorite part of the job?
Ian: The most favorite part of my job, absolutely, is sitting at the leadership table and bringing insight to the management group that they may or may not know already, and bringing it real time, very recent and relevant and proposing something to do and make it better. Either stopping doing something, doing more of something, but helping the organization.

So from my perspective, the quicker, the faster, the easier I can get that information to the right people and they can also believe in that information and make a decision, then I'm being successful.

Tableau: Does Tableau help you achieve that?
Ian: In my role in finance, especially with tools like Tableau, I can do that far quicker, cheaper, faster, and in so doing, I get a kick. I help the business be more successful.

Tableau: What was your first reaction to Tableau? Has it changed?
Ian: To be honest, when I initially saw the BI tools, you know, I had that skepticism. But very quickly, you know, you could see that that this was a disruptive technology that's going to take time to embrace, but once it becomes a fabric of the company, is going to change the way that we consume data.

Tableau: Has the finance group recommended Tableau to other departments?
Ian: So, for me, you know, finance has to lead the effort with this disruptive technology and be the leader of it. But in so doing, they need to bring the other departments along.

And to be honest, that's what I want to do as a finance guy. I want to help impact and improve the business.

Learn more about how Oldcastle uses Tableau to track sales and product data.



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