Big data ‘most influential trend’ in finance

Big data is set to shake up the financial services industry, according to a new survey which found that nearly half (45 per cent) of finance professionals regard it as the most influential trend.

Onguard, an order-to-cash solutions provider, surveyed 1,004 chief financial officers (CFOs) and staff in related roles, finding that 30 per cent anticipate that analysis of big data - the use of large data sets to suggests trends and patterns in behaviour - will need to become part of their skillset in the near future.

The need for handling big data is likely to be driven by greater demand for insights, performance improvement and enhanced customer experience.

Despite more than a third of those asked (36 per cent) expecting the growth of big data to have an impact on their workplace and employment, far fewer said they thought it would lead to job losses.

The overwhelming majority (87 per cent) of respondents said they were confident their jobs would still exist ten years from now, despite the rise of data-driven technology.

Given this, the availability of data was found to be a crucial factor for businesses covered in the survey, with 93 per cent of companies stating they use data as part of their business functions.

The pace of change in data acquisition techniques and new technologies is so fast that 43 per cent of those asked said financial services providers would essentially become IT companies over the next 10 years.

As a result, while 45 per cent are preparing for big data to be a ‘game changer’ in the sector, while just seven per cent said they are doing nothing with the data.

Marieke Saeij, chief technology officer at Onguard, said it was important to remember that data is “not just a passing trend”.

She commented: “The ability to interpret the available data can add value, but for big data to be really useful it needs to be translated into actionable insights.

“At the moment many finance professionals fail to see how big data analysis relates to what they do, but it is the tool that can yield profound insights, improve performance and enhance customer experience.”

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