Why Nearly Half of Asia's CFOs Are Struggling to Make Effective Decisions

Inaccurate, out-of-date information is hampering the decision-making capabilities of 47% of Asia Pacific's chief financial officers, according to a new research by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The report paints a picture of CFOs having to make decisions but getting bogged down by the data analytics that they feel are needed to make those decisions.

Sponsored by Qlik, the research report "How The New Breed of CFO Makes Decisions," reveals that 63 percent of respondents say their job entails analyzing all available information, yet 47 percent say their decision making is slowed down by information overload.

The study shows that data features prominently on the list of obstacles CFOs are having to overcome, with 52 percent of those questioned saying data accuracy is the biggest hindrance to doing their job properly.

Meanwhile, 46 percent point to access to real-time data and 43 percent say integrating complex data from different sources is a problem. And yet, being able to process greater volumes of information is an increasing focus for CFOs.

Almost three quarters, 74 percent, of survey respondents said data analysis would be useful in the future when making long-term strategic decisions.

Need more IT expertise

Nearly all respondents (94 percent) felt they would need more IT expertise in the next three years. However, they generally feel that IT tools do not meet their needs - 44 percent of respondents feel that IT vendors are not interested in making their analytics tools simple or easy to use.

“It’s worrying to see so many CFOs struggling to make sense of the data in their organization, especially as the decisions they need to be making can have a big impact on the way the business is run,” comments Martin Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Finance, Qlik Asia Pacific.

Data can be such an important asset to anyone in the business, let alone the CFO, and the report shows that legacy IT vendors are making analytics tools really hard to use.

CFOs often don’t feel they are technically equipped to deal with that complexity. So it’s a concern that they can’t get the insights they need out of the masses of information they have available to them.

"But instead of a big revamp in technology, CFOs are looking at additional training and multiple small investments to help generate insights from data,” said Charles Ross, The Economist Intelligence Unit and editor of the report.

 

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