AWS Cloud Financial Management

Get actionable cost insights that align with your business

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Actionable cost insights are sets of cost and usage raw data and information from which leadership, product owners, and financial management can create effective data-driven actions. An insight that drives action is typically more valuable than one that simply answers a question—especially an insight that makes you rethink something and pushes you in a new direction.

6 key characteristics of actionable insights

It is crucial to acknowledge that not all data is actionable or insightful. Raw and unprocessed cost and usage data is usually in a computer-friendly format (such as AWS Cost and Usage Reports) and can be converted into information such as graphs and reports (such the ones you can find on AWS Cost Explorer or CUDOS), but how do you know what portion of this information is actually actionable?

To help you decide, here are six key characteristics to determine whether your data insights can help accelerate delivery of your business outcomes:

1. Alignment: It’s crucial to link your data to your business needs and goals. Prioritize your finance and technology partnership to optimize productivity, reduce risk, and optimize outcomes.

📖 READ: A conversation on expanding to cloud skills for financial professionals

2. Context: Having detailed background information gives you the ability to understand and identify actionable insights from the data you have. Business objective context is vital to determining what is uniquely important as you customize data granularity options. Setting that can deliver a comprehensive picture to help inform your decisions.

🚀 START: Make data-informed decision making and dynamically forecast your variable IT expenses

3. Relevance: The timeliness of reporting insights is as important as having them in the first place. If they remain in an analytics tool without being accessed for extended periods of time, they can lose their value. Therefore, data should be analyzed and promptly passed on to appropriate stakeholders and project managers. You should take advantage of and enable automated reports and notifications that are available in your reporting tools to preserve the timely relevance of your data insights.

🔎 EXPLORE: Automate anomalous spend and root cause analysis with AWS Cost Anomaly Detection

4. Specificity: There’s a difference between a general insight and an actionable one. In order for data analytics to properly support or impact delivery of business outcomes, you should be able to assign a specific action to a team, project, or business initiative stakeholder. One way to ensure understanding and alignment between your data and your business is by establishing KPIs or a metrics strategy.

💡 DISCOVER: Crafting a robust metrics strategy to quantify your benefits from the cloud

5. Unique Perspectives: While scheduled reports and analyses should remain, finding new ways to use data to innovate functions may be worth the extra effort. Running unique analytics to monitor KPIs from new perspectives or identifying data anomalies can enable innovation.

📹 WATCH: Dive deep into Fidelity’s KPI journey

6. Clarity: Valuable insights can get muddled by excess information, resulting in a loss of data clarity for stakeholders, which trickles down to a reduction in significance and impact of the related action. Data visualization through graphs, images, and reports can help you identify and hone in on anomalies, redundancies, or excessive information that can diminish the clarity of your insights.

📖 LEARN: How can I use Cost Explorer to analyze my spending and usage?

Turn data analysis into actionable analytics

A key advantage of the cloud is having visibility into your cloud usage and cost data. AWS provides tools for you to get a single pane view of your AWS cost and usage, so you can understand and manage your bills and payments, customize and report your cost and usage data, and allocate charges back to your business entities, e.g. teams, projects, or products. Learn how to make sense of your cloud investment by converting this data into actionable cost insights to drive your expected business outcomes.

📹 WATCH: CFM Talks on getting actionable cost insights

Luis Abud

Luis Abud

Luis oversees the Digital Experience for AWS Billing and Cost Management services. He focuses on enabling finance and business leaders to transform their business with cost transparency, control, forecasting, and optimization. In his previous career, he helped tech and retail companies establish and enhance their digital presence in Latin America.