Many CFOs unconvinced their team is ready for big data challenge

Though chief financial officers and executives well understand that big data is an important component of risk management and data governance, many are of the belief that their staff may not be ready to integrate this information with enterprise-wide data.

Details of the report, “Pushing the Frontiers,” were gathered after the authors queried nearly 600 CFOs all over the world in various industries, including buy-side financial institutions. At 82 percent, most CFOs indicated that they saw the value that comes from data integration. However, less than one in four – 24 percent – said that they believed their staff was ready for it.

“In our discussions with CFOs over the past decade, the significance of technology and analytical tools in transforming the finance function and broader enterprise has continuously risen,” said Bill Fuessler, one of the study’s co-authors. “Data has always sat in the center of a CFO’s job responsibilities, and CFOs now recognize how insights from big data are helping their company become more competitive. CFOs 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 [chief marketing officer] as they partner to drive the corporate growth agenda.”

How financial executives perform with big data tends to be an indicator of their overall proficiency, the survey found. For example, researchers used various tools and labels in order to identify which CFOs were the most fluent with big data and its properties, labeling those who excelled as “value integrators,” or more specifically, those who were more proficient with analysis than their contemporaries. Researchers also identified “performance accelerators” – or those who mastered their duties to a greater extent than their peers By a two-to-one margin, performance accelerators were more effective at integrating enterprise-wide information than value integrators.

Buy-side financial firms excel when they’re operating systems optimized for big data. According to a study, access to information was hastened when storage systems are geared for big data, MIT News recently reported.

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