Nearly 60 percent of CFOs indicate that investing in analytics and decision-making is their top IT priority, according to a joint 2013 study by Gartner and the Financial Executives Research Foundation. The study also finds that 15 of the top 19 business processes that CFOs have identified as requiring improved support are largely addressed by business intelligence, analytics and performance-management technologies.

CFOs recognize that, going forward, data collection will continue to accelerate and drive decision-making, and that BI no longer resides within the exclusive domain of the CIO. As managing, understanding and using data becomes central to the CFO’s role, it’s important to understand what this means and why it matters. It’s also important to note that this isn’t about gaining access to any  data, but accessing accurate, insightful, real-time data. The CFO must drive a big data plan to ensure that investments in data infrastructure, analytics tools, dashboards and personnel yield data that’s easily centralized and understood for it to be actionable. It must also be integrated so that it can be used across the entire organization.

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