Big data skeleton key

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Big data is a catch-all term but, broadly speaking, it refers to the large volume of internal and external data that can now be captured and analysed to improve organisational and financial performance. Chief financial officers (CFOs) in UK businesses now have more data at their fingertips than ever before, and their role is changing as a result.

Simon Bittlestone, chief executive of financial analytics firm Metapraxis, harks back 20 years to demonstrate how the role of the CFO has been affected by the advent of big data. “You found more CFOs focusing most of their time on ensuring the numbers for business reporting were correct, and ensuring the business was liquid and the risks were being managed. And that’s still an important part of the role of CFO,” says Mr Bittlestone, who  explains that following the automation of financial reporting, the focus became how can we improve the business using the data we have?

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