IMA Releases New Report on the Impact of Big Data on Finance

Giuseppe Barone
(201) 474-1681

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866


Montvale, N.J., December 9, 2019 IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on the advancement of the management accounting profession, released a new report today, “The Impact of Big Data on Finance - Now and in the Future,” which examines how organizations are increasingly harnessing big data and how this change presents an opportunity for finance and accounting professionals to build on their proficiencies around data governance and analysis.

Based on a survey of IMA members, this study finds that companies that have implemented big data have already begun to reap the benefits. These organizations report significant improvement in performance, especially in the areas of performance measurement and strategy formulation.

“Big data is being implemented by companies at a much higher rate than other technological initiatives, and the number of companies that use it will double in the near future,” said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, CPA, CFA, CAE, professor-in-residence and vice president of research and policy at IMA. “For accounting and finance professionals, this provides an opportunity to increasingly assume the role of business partner with others in their organizations, as they draw on their competencies in governing, analyzing and communicating data.”

The report identifies several key considerations that will allow companies to successfully implement big data initiatives:

  • Starting simple and small when first implementing big data projects
  • Expanding the sources of data used and exploring potential uses not only of data available internally but also of data available externally
  • Getting information based on data in the hands of those who need it, on a real-time basis
  • Getting buy-in for big data and leading-edge analytics initiatives at both the executive and departmental levels
  • Developing strategies for the effective use of leading-edge analytic techniques and technologies
  • Building strong data governance and quality infrastructure in order to ensure data integrity and quality

The research is an expansion on findings in a previous report, “How to Embrace Data Analytics to Be Successful,” that explored the four necessary elements identified in a company looking to develop analytical capabilities – data-savvy people, quality data, state of-the-art tools and organizational intent. More details regarding this and other findings are available in the report and on IMA’s Technology & Analytics Center, an online database of technology resources for professionals.

The full report is available here.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, named the 2017 and 2018 Professional Body of the Year by The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) programs, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 125,000 members in 150 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/India. For more information about IMA, please visit