How Big Data Separates CFO Men From Boys

Most CFOs -- in fact, 82 percent of them -- see the value of integrating enterprise-wide data. The bad news: only 24 percent think their teams are up to the task. So says a new IBM study that reveals a 205 percent increase in the gap between data importance and the ability to leverage its value since Big Blue first looked at the issue in 2005.

Conducted by IBMEUs Institute of Business Value and entitled EUPushing the Frontiers,EU the study draws from face-to-face conversations with 576 CFOs in companies worldwide. One of the big takeaways from the study is the importance of technology. Although macro-economic and market factors are still vital, tech has moved up from fifth to third on the list of most impactful issues since the 2010 study.

Bill Fuessler, a partner in the Finance, Risk & Fraud group at IBM Global Business Services, noted that the significance of technology and analytical tools in transforming the finance function and broader enterprise has continuously increased in the companyEUs discussions with CFOs over the past decade.

EUData has always sat in the center of a CFOEUs job responsibilities, and CFOs now recognize how insights from big data are helping their company become more competitive,EU Fuessler said. EUCFOs are being asked to anticipate the future and discover new areas of revenue growth -- we anticipate this will spur a new strategic alliance between the CFO and CMO as they partner to drive the corporate growth agenda.EU

All CFOs Not Created Equal

One noteworthy study finding is that some CFOs are more effective in finance efficiency and analytical insight than their peers. IBM has labeled these CFOs EUValue Integrators.EU The study also identifies another subset called EUPerformance Accelerators," CFOS who have mastered their core duties so thoroughly that theyEUre far ahead of their peers.


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