FRESH DATA: Big Data to Play Larger Role in Accounting


Artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning will also see their roles increasing according to a report from the Institute of Management Accountants.

A new report reveals that accountants feel that technologies like real-time analytics, machine learning, AI and blockchain will have an increased role in their workflows in 2020.

The Institute of Management Accountants conducted a survey in which 170 CFOs and management accountants anticipate big changes ahead. Respondents agreed that they will need to keep pace with changing technology and develop skills to take full advantage of its benefits.

See also: Big Data Battle Shifts Fronts

The report concluded that “Four key elements must be present for organizations looking to become data-driven: data-savvy people, quality data, state-of-the-art tools, and a supportive organizational culture.”

Report Findings

The number of companies deploying big data will soon exceed the adoption rate of data visualization and process automation. Successfully implementing and adopting big data requires key strategies:

  • Start simply when first implementing Big Data projects
  • Expand data sources and explore potential uses of available internal and external data
  • Get data to those who need it quickly and in real-time
  • Seek buy-in for big data and leading-edge analytics at the executive and department levels
  • Develop strategies to effectively use analytics techniques and technologies
  • Build a strong data governance and quality infrastructure to maintain data integrity and quality

“One of the big takeaways was the number of companies deploying Big Data is expected to double in the near future, and the potential to improve organizational performance is very significant for those organizations,” says Raef Lawson, IMA VP of research and policy.

“The rate at which companies are deploying Big Data is even greater than some other hot technologies such as data visualization or robotic process automation, which isn’t to say they’re mutually exclusive. Companies using leading-edge analytics can have a significant advantage compared to their competitors. With the evolution of analytical tools, all organizations — regardless of size — need to start going down the analytics road in order to remain competitive,” he says.

The IMA plans to help accountants expand their knowledge and competencies by offering a Data Analytics and Visualization Foundational Certificate. The company has also revamped its Management Accounting Competency Framework to include more analytics training and revised its Certified Management Accountant Exam to include an analytics section.

Sue Walsh

About Sue Walsh

Sue Walsh is News Writer for RTInsights, and a freelance writer and social media manager living in New York City. Her specialties include tech, security and e-commerce. You can follow her on Twitter at @girlfridaygeek.

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