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Survey: Management Support is Key to Robust Data Analysis

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 11/4/2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Most companies engage in some type of data analysis to drive decision-making and achieve business goals, but those whose data intelligence programs have the support of management and devote considerable resources to gathering, analyzing and interpreting information are the ones reaping the benefits, according to a survey by AFP.

The AFP Data Intelligence Survey, underwritten by Capital One Bank and released Monday at the 2014 AFP Annual Conference, found that financial professionals at companies with successful data intelligence programs report a high level of satisfaction with accuracy (85 percent), relevancy (87 percent) and the ability to reach actionable conclusions (79 percent) based on data analysis. High performing data intelligence programs frequently share two key characteristics: they are led by their company’s executive management team and they are consolidated under a centralized data intelligence group.

“When it comes to connecting dots and taking action for the future, companies with an overarching data intelligence group are more successful,” said Jim Kaitz, AFP’s president and CEO. “The finance function also provides valuable input into corporate decision making.”

Indeed, the survey found that whether or not a company centralizes its data intelligence function, 44 percent of companies do have a single person who is ultimately responsible for strategy and execution of data work, which typically falls under the purview of the Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer or similar title.

Support from senior management, close work with the finance team and a wide-ranging approach to deploying data programs throughout the organization also contributed to success, the survey found.

According to the survey, successful data intelligence programs have:

  • Strong executive management support
  • Programs that serve many departments across the company
  • A strategic partnership with the finance team
  • Centralized operations under a single data intelligence group.

In September, AFP conducted a 14-question survey of employees in the finance departments of corporations about their companies’ data intelligence programs. The survey generated 423 responses, 205 from AFP members and 218 from non-members. View findings on

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