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Why CFOs and treasury must lead on analytics

A lack of leadership support and communication are stopping companies from using analytics effectively, according to a survey by consultancy McKinsey. Only 10 per cent of CFOs say they are are responsible for analytics within the company – so financial executives could do more to develop and harness big data.

Other factors preventing successful analytics programmes include an awkward organisation structure as well as finding (and retaining) the right employees.

The McKinsey Global Survey found that 86 per cent of executives said their organisations have been only “somewhat effective” at meeting the primary objective of their data and analytics programmes, while more than one-quarter said they’ve been “ineffective”.

Executives at companies with the most successful and effective analytics capabilities said that the involvement of senior management was the factor that drove the programme's success. And of all the various “C-level” roles, the CEO is the most likely to be in charge of the company's analytics agenda. Of the 256 CEOs surveyed, 38 per cent said they are primarily responsible for the company's analytics agenda.

The survey also received responses from 175 other non-CEO executives, including CFOs, CIOs, chief digital officers, etc. Just 10 per cent of CFOs said they were responsible for analytics within the company. This suggests that executives leading the finance division could do much more to steer and lead their company when it comes to developing and using analytics. This would be especially beneficial, since so much data generated by company is either directly related to invoicing and payments or will have a meaningful impact on cash flows. CFOs (and treasury) therefore need greater involvement in the development, leadership and use of data analytics.

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