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CFOs turning to big data to navigate economic uncertainty

Adaptive Insights has released its CFO Indicator Q1 2016 report that reveals the ways in which Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) harness the power of big data and scenario planning to help navigate their companies through the current financial uncertainty.

To compile the report, the company surveyed 377 CFOs worldwide over the course of a two week period which ended on 28 March, 2016. Adaptive Insights found that while some CFOs are worried about the financial uncertainty that hung over Q1 2016, the vast majority of those it surveyed were confident in their forecasts and believe that big data, analytics and scenario planning will help them guide the way for their organisations.

48 per cent of the CFOs viewed scenario planning provides the most strategic value to their companies when a downturn arises.

Robert S. Hull, the founder and chairman of Adaptive Insights, subscribes to this belief as well: “When the financial outlook seems unclear, planning for multiple scenarios can significantly contribute to agility. While transformation and innovation experience helps inspire myriad possible outcomes, technical and analytical skills can be applied to more rapidly model multiple actionable plans – helping financial leaders to remain agile as they navigate even the most turbulent markets.”

Many CFOs are driven by potential changes that could affect regulatory requirements and 64 per cent of CFOs have planned for multiple outcomes in anticipation of such changes. Many CFOs have begun to rely on scenario planning and technology which has led to a number of them feeling even more confident in their forecasting abilities. 93 per cent believe that they are moderately, very or extremely proficient in the use of technology to aid them in their forecasts.

When it comes to the future, 62 per cent see compliance no longer being the top priority, that 93 per cent believe it is today, in three years time. 77 per cent of CFOs see a future where their ability to transform financial data into intelligence will be a necessity to drive growth.

CFOs now have more tools at their disposal when it comes to how they forecast their companies future and how they navigate the financial uncertainty that currently pervades the market.

Image Credit: El Nariz / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.