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The Data Revolution

This report, drafted in partnership with ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) as part of The Future Today research program, draws attention to the radical change in the role of data in relation to the accountancy profession.

"The Data Revolution" touches upon issues of data management, data governance, and data lifecycle, and describes key current and future trends for a broad range of data-related activities. The role of data in the modern world is changing in a dramatic way. The changes, their speed and scale, as well as their impact on almost every aspect of daily life, are so significant that the term “Data Revolution” is being used ever more frequently. This report suggests that, in order to fully anticipate the future impact of data and its role, the finance profession needs to look beyond the “new oil” metaphor; instead, it should support the business in adopting a data-centric approach to modern information technology.


Key Insights
  • The form the Data Revolution takes for each business will vary, but it will, at some stage, affect everyone, regardless of whether it was invited and whether it is welcome or not.
  • Accountants and finance professionals must acknowledge that technology skills are no longer a “nice to have,” but rather a “must-have,” and be more proactive in acquiring and maintaining a skillset fit for the challenges that lie ahead.
  • Collaboration across the business must now be established, so that finance and technology professionals can work together.
  • The necessary data-centric view of technology means that data can no longer be seen as a by-product of IT systems. Conversations about data have to be held at the most senior levels, regardless of whether a company is large or small.

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