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CFOs Becoming Data Doctors

Harness data for forward-looking insights into business health


There is more data than ever, and more ways to extract business value from it. Yet leaders are learning that data quantity brings challenges with data quality. Data dysfunction is an epidemic.

The CFO can become the data doctor for the enterprise. After all, the finance organization has visibility and understanding across functions into enterprise performance.

Having the right data to deliver forward-looking insights to business leaders requires changes. It demands new roles and collaboration models, different organizational structures, emerging technologies, and next-level accountability. All are fundamental shifts in how the CFO and the finance organization connect with the business.

More than 60% of organizations cannot answer basic questions about business performance.


Every organization wants a clean bill of health in data quality, but many are dealing with big data challenges today:

Bad data can’t deliver business value

Many finance organizations lack the analytics insight to enhance the business value they deliver. Instead of predicting the future, Finance is often stuck in reporting the past.

The treatment plan is not working

Data governance councils do not have the data for informed decisions, and territorialism makes it hard to assess the data landscape broadly. Councils often struggle to measure improvements.

Technology is the best medicine

Organizations that try to heal all of their data ailments with a major IT investment rarely gain traction or get the outcomes they want. Working together, the business and IT, with the CFO as a bridge between them, can identify priorities.

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of resource time in Finance is spent on data gathering and spreadsheets

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of organizations, executives do not fully understand the data supply chain

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of companies struggle with data access and automation of the data supply chain


Organizations can bring data together into a digital data supply chain using new technologies to access, analyze and extract insights. They can start with these actions:


Stop the bleeding
Ensure there is clarity around data ownership and a common business language across business units and functions.


Heal the ecosystem
Create a hub-and-spokes model with enterprise data services to connect IT, the business and other functions. The CFO is best to direct these efforts.


Triage interventions fast
Improve data quality in weeks or months, not years. The CFO can support agile approaches that involve prototypes, pilots and rapid scenario-driven changes.


Athena P. Reilly

Athena P. Reilly

Managing Director, Accenture Strategy,
CFO and Enterprise Value

Tiffany DeVaughn

Tiffany DeVaughn

Managing Director, Accenture Strategy,
CFO and Enterprise Value


Jane Murphy