Finance execs struggle with using data to mitigate risks to their organizations

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While finance chiefs at enterprises remain tasked with business profitability, their responsibilities have expanded to efficiently share data across organizations and lead the adoption of emerging tools that manage burgeoning global risk, according to a new report from financial data and analytics firm Dun & Bradstreet.

“With economic and political uncertainty across so much of the world, we found that finance leaders are struggling to manage risk effectively,” said Eric Dowdell, global head of Dun & Bradstreet’s Trade Credit business. “Finance leaders report they are aware of and encouraged by the possibilities of modern, data-driven tools to drive better business outcomes, yet sophistication and adoption remain alarmingly low.”

As part of the study, the firm surveyed 1,100 finance professionals in the U.S., U.K., and Canada online in April 2018. Monitoring risks within a business’ customer, supplier, or partner base ranked as the top challenge facing finance leaders today, with 38 percent of respondents saying this was their main concern.

Overall, most finance leaders think their own efforts to manage, monitor, and predict customer, supplier or partner viability pose a moderate to high risk to their businesses. Predicting risk was the number two concern, and growing profitability was third.

Most finance leaders are not effectively managing data to help mitigate business risk. More than 60 percent of respondents report that their data currently exists in organizational silos, with more than half reporting difficulty sharing, linking, and using data to drive their risk management strategies.

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