In my last post, I mentioned that I’ve come across a number of interesting articles that led me to explore how approaches taken by major technology companies could be applied to accounting and financial software.

Today I would like to discuss the article, “A Big Market for Big Data – An Outlook on 2017,” because the infographic presented in the article succinctly shows why businesses care about big data rather than focusing on the amount of data being stored or the collection of technology being used. 

Whenever I read interesting articles about big data, I often think about how they can relate to our world. Here are two impacts highlighted in this article that most CFOs we speak with are thinking about:

  • The top two business goals driving investments in data-driven initiatives are improving customer relationships (55%) and making the business more data focused (53%).
  • Seventy-eight percent of enterprises agree that big data has the potential to fundamentally change the way they do business over the next 1 to 3 years.

Takeaways to think about:

  • More data very often means more sources of data (think general ledger, plus). How do you make your general ledger the center of gravity for your data strategy and aggregate related non-financial data around it?
  • How can you monetize your data, specifically your AP stream?
  • How can you aggregate both internal and external data?
  • When you have more data, it becomes very painful to import into Excel. How can you do analytics on your accounting and non-accounting data in the cloud, where is it closer to the data?

Next week, I’ll be discussing how we can get inspired by Twitter to re-think what is possible with a chart of accounts.

Note: This is part two of a six-part series for CFOs who are thinking about how they can optimize their business by being more data driven.  Here is the full series of blog posts:


• Part 1, introduction: Reading for the Data-Driven CFO
• Part 2, big data and the general ledger: “GLplus” – Making Your General Ledger the Center of Gravity for Your Data Strategy
• Part 3, dashboards and analytics: Twitterize Your Chart of Accounts
• Part 4, invisible AI: Invisible AI: A Glance at Your iPhone and Its iBrain
• Part 5, AI and accounting: The Power of AI for Accounting
• Part 6, strategy and conclusion: The 2017 Journey for the Data-Driven CFO