The results of last year’s Future of the Finance Function 2016 survey described a CFO whose role was over-hyped, under-delivered and littered with contradictions. Business commentators and analysts were quick to heap new duties and skills onto CFOs, but the survey found that many senior finance executives were still bogged down in their traditional financial role, unable to find the time to upgrade technology in order to focus on their strategic imperatives.
The report identified automation and standardization as key launch points for the evolution of the CFO role, and data as the driver of insights that shape strategic decision-making. The Future of the Finance Function 2017 builds on these foundations but finds gaps in the way that data is located, shared and used to make strategic decisions.
Many don’t understand what data is available, where it is held and how to get at it, which severely constrains the insight finance can add to corporate discussions. Data and its analysis should not just be a key priority but an integral part of every aspect of business strategy.