Business Analytics: The New Must-Have Skill Set

Survey: Majority of CFOs Say Business Analytics Know-How Mandatory for Accounting and Finance Professionals

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 25, 2014 -- Business analysis isn't just for business analysts anymore. In a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey, the majority (61 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said expertise in business analytics, such as business intelligence and data mining, is mandatory for some or all of their accounting and finance employees.

Companies are providing a number of resources for professionals to sharpen their skills in this area, the research found, with in-house training topping the list. Other tools firms make available to their accounting and finance teams include mentorships, reimbursement for external courses and the opportunity to work with a consultant.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, the world's premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with more than 2,100 CFOs from a random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. markets.

CFOs were asked, "How important are business analytics skills, such as business intelligence, for your accounting and finance employees?" Their responses:

Mandatory for everyone

15%

Mandatory for some positions

46%

Nice to have, but not mandatory

22%

Rarely needed

9%

Not needed at all

7%

Other/don't know

1%

Total

100%

View an infographic of the resources CFOs offer to help employees improve their business analytics skills.

"The ability to identify and interpret key data trends has gone from useful to mandatory in accounting and finance," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "Firms increasingly rely on their financial teams to deliver strategic guidance and data-driven recommendations. This demand will only accelerate as companies are able to tap into greater volumes of information."

McDonald added that for those who already have strong business analytics abilities, it's important to maintain them. "Business analytics is a rapidly changing area that is constantly experiencing new demands from companies. Staying current with emerging data and software trends and continuing industry-related training is career insurance," he said.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 150 locations worldwide and offers assistance to hiring managers and consultants at roberthalfmr.com and on its blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com.

 


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