CFO: need to know

Big data

  • Share

To maximize big data’s value, focus on small data — the data that is material to your business. Big data comes from sources well beyond your four walls and is imperative in helping management teams shift from reactive to predictive decision making.

In other words, big data can help your management team stop looking in the rear-view mirror when making decisions about the future of your company. Controlling it and discerning the right data for the right decision is a tremendous challenge.

To maximize big data’s value, focus on small data

CFOs are ripe for this role. Leading CFOs bring discipline to the data, organize it, assemble the right teams to analyze it and derive insights that improve decision-making quality.

Big data – find out more

Video icon  CFOs and big data

EY - video still of Sharath Sharma, Andrew Rusnak, and Kim Ramko

To drive growth, CFOs should zero in on big data. [See a transcript of this video]


Predict, don’t just react
Big data is created now. And now. And now. Its momentum is tremendous, enabling forecasts to be made based on fresh data rather than relying on reactions to old information. This insight gives CFOs a rare opportunity to elevate enterprise-wide decision-making.

However, making a coherent picture from infinite bits of information is not easy.

To make big data most effective, you must:

  • Focus on the data that truly matters
  • Control it to ensure its quality
  • Deliver it to the right decision makers

Connect the dots
To harness the power of big data, CFOs need to gather people who understand how to develop data correlations – statisticians, economists and others. This kind of radical collaboration distills the data, informs decisions and drives insight. In this way, big data becomes a critical enabler for growth.

Seen from different angles, data can reveal what’s not readily apparent, hidden tax risks for example. It’s all right there, but it’s up to CFOs to provide the right perspectives.

Big data, bigger success
Big data allows CFOs, for the first time, to understand the social, political, economic and environmental forces that impact business and influence finance. Companies that have their arms around data outperform their peers by up to 20%.

By using big data properly, CFOs can sharpen their company’s competitive edge.

Big data can be critical in a crisis
In fraud and crisis situations, government and law enforcement officials utilize big data to their advantage. Similarly, CFOs can leverage big data in investigations, regulatory responses and litigation, when it’s critical to distill and document facts. This fosters CFO and General Counsel collaboration and drives cost containment, expense reduction, risk mitigation and favorable outcomes.

View our latest resources on big data

Viewpoints expressed on this page are exclusive to Ernst & Young GM Limited.