Big data gives CFOs big issues

Despite rising levels of investment in the underlying technology, big business is failing to get to grips with the opportunities 'big data' offers to improve strategy and target spending, according to research by KPMG.

The firm's survey of 144 CFOs and CIOs from multi-national companies with annual revenues of £600m found 85% revealed that these senior figures still do not know how to analyse the data they have already collected, while 54% said they were unable to identify the data worth collecting.

Alwin Magimay, head of digital and analytics for KPMG UK, said: 'Few organisations fully understand the huge potential residing within their data. Fewer still are making the right changes to their business strategy to take advantage of that potential. The fact is that zeroing in on the business problems and identifying key hypotheses may not be the easiest thing to achieve up front, but it is far more efficient and effective in the longer term.'

Research for KPMG's Going Beyond the Data report also found that 56% of respondents claim they have changed business strategy to meet the challenges posed by big data and approximately two-thirds now expect to uncover insights that, otherwise, would have been missed.

A majority (71%) said they plan to spend more than 5% of their sales on data and analytics over the next two years, an increase on the 69% claiming to have spent a similar amount over the past 12 months.

Magimay said: 'In the past, decision making was largely driven by intuition and experience; whoever had the best "gut feel" would win. Today, the winners are defined by who has the more insightful grasp of their data.'

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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