The explosive growth of business data has impacted organizations of all sizes and across all functions. But a big and as-yet-untapped opportunity to harness the power of this data may sit with the office of the CFO.
Recognizing the benefit that access to data can bring, CFOs must now address a host of new, related challenges. These encompass the selection and rollout of collaboration tools and processes, new technology, training, and staffing.
Big data doesn’t distill itself into actionable information. But the ability to take a deep dive into the data that matters most, at the time when it’s most critical, can be invaluable. And this is becoming increasingly vital in the rapidly changing marketplace and dynamic regulatory environments.
Ultimately, CFOs need to embrace the role of “chief data officer” and elevate their focus from tracking, reporting, and static planning to continual gathering and prioritizing, ongoing management, and active planning.
This shift in data ownership is putting CFOs at the heart of data integration. Finance leaders today face rising demand for the intelligent combining of both financial and non-financial data. Increasingly, finance executives require access to — and the power to — utilize all categories of data to get a clear and holistic view of the health of the business, identify areas for improvement and change, and develop the best game-plan based on current conditions.
At the same time, companies of all sizes are increasing the frequency with which they access data. In large part that’s due to the cloud, which creates an expectation for accurate, up-to-the minute, consistent data across divisions, business units, and geographic locations around the globe.