Almost two-thirds (64%) of UK CFOs expect to be completely reliant on big data within five years, with 13% of CFOs believing this is already the case, according to the results of the 2019 FinTech Barometer, an annual survey conducted by order-to-cash platform Onguard.

The research found that many financial directors are mainly using big data to make well-informed decisions (54%), to make predictive analyses (41%), and to analyse large, unstructured databases (29%). Almost one-fifth (18%) of CFOs do not use big data at all.

In terms of the impact of big data on employment, 36% of the CFOs who responded to the survey view big data as a threat to employment. Other digital trends were also considered in the survey, with 42% of CFOs expecting AI to have a major impact on employment opportunities and 30% seeing robotisation as the biggest threat to jobs.

Onguard CEO Marieke Saeji said: “I’m not surprised that CFOs expect to be completely dependent on big data within such a short timeframe. Big data can help them, as well as finance professionals within their organisations, with the execution of their work.

“Finance professionals have a great deal of information from both internal and external sources that is of added value for both the performance of the organisation and customer service. The more information that is available about the market and customers, the better finance professionals can advise customers.

“Thanks to big data, risks can be assessed more accurately and it is also possible to predict in real-time whether and when customers will start paying so as an organisation, you can properly anticipate this. This development will require finance professionals to develop new skills, such as greater analytical capacity, as a necessity.”