The data-driven organisation has arrived. Now it's finance's time to shine. 

Most executives understand the skillful use of data and unlocking powerful new insights from capabilities like machine learning and AI are vital to competitive success. Yet KPMG research shows that many senior executives remain hesistant to trust data-driven information when it really counts - that is, when it delivers surprising information. In one of our recent surveys, just 34 percent of CEOs said they followed data-driven insights when the actions indicated by the data were contrary to their own intuition. At the root is a genuine concern about data quality, transparency, and governance. Who's in charge? And where did that new forecast come from?

It's a trust gap that finance is uniquely positioned to fill. Indeed, CFOs and their senior finance staff are ideally suited to lead the transition to the data-driven enterprise because of both their broad organisational scope and their reputation for objectivity and credibility. Finance executives have long sought to transform their role from support function to strategic business partner, and the move to being a company truly driven by data, analytics, and insights (DA&I) provides a major opportunity to do just that. 

To lead this transformation to a D&AI-enabled organisation, finance can work with enterprise teams across three critical, interconnected areas: 

Data strategy and governance: Better data delivers better insights. Finance must guide the effort to identify and curate the data that is most important for enterprise performance, ensuring that the data is high-quality, highly accessible, and regularly reviewed and updated. 

Intelligent forecasting: Finance must acquire and develop solutions and techniques that deliver faster and more accurate forecasting and scenario modeling, powered by new capabilities in areas like AI and external data - and in the process, arming business leaders with powerful new insights. 

Business planning and analysis: Finance must realign its people, processes, and technologies to facilitate the production of forward-looking, data-driven insights that enable finance to serve as a true business partner - and move beyond the old-line mindset of financial planning and analysis (FP&A) of rearview-mirror reporting function to developing integrated business plans and forecasts based on key drivers of the enterprise. 

Download 'How D&A puts finance in the driver's seat' here.