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Mining big data—CFOs in financial services are uniquely positioned to tap in

As big data proliferates, CFOs can help financial services firms build a data-driven enterprise.


Big data is getting bigger. Not long ago, we measured all the data swirling in our world in terabytes (a thousand gigabytes)—today we measure it in zettabytes (a billion gigabytes).

For chief financial officers (CFOs) in financial services, this bombardment of data may seem overwhelming, but with the right tools and resources the finance function can find meaning amid the noise.

Accenture's paper, Exploring Next Generation Financial Services: The Big Data Revolution, shows how CFOs and financial leaders can help banks, capital markets firms and insurers mine the value in data, and help build a data-driven enterprise.

"With the big data revolution, CFOs will know more than ever about the dynamics of business environments."


Technology and analytics are the keys to unlocking big data. These days, it’s often the finance function that is tasked with capturing and analyzing data, and sharing it throughout the financial enterprise.

Our paper uncovers four ways CFOs can increase their influence within the enterprise by working with big data. CFOs can:

Make data-driven decisions
to better evaluate opportunities for cost reduction and revenue growth.

Discover new business opportunities,
supporting the C-suite in strategic and investment decisions.

Enhance productivity and efficiency
company wide, by having business units make the appropriate use of data-generated insights.

Manage risk and regulatory concerns
by leveraging data to support reporting demands, among other requirements.


To increase big data gains, financial services firms should consider making the transition to a data-driven enterprise. CFOs guiding their businesses on this journey may want to note the three strategic steps identified in our paper:

  1. Build a new data operating model that puts big data at the center of the decision-making processes.

  2. Adopt a leading-edge architecture that includes advanced technologies and flexible structures.

  3. Drive a cultural change that emphasizes an innovative mind set and establishes new business roles.