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Square Root Day by the Numbers

Happy Square Root Day

2016 has been a solid year for numbers geeks. First, it’s a Leap Year, which brings with it some numerical twists and turns. And, of course, we just celebrated the annual Pi Day on March 14. Today we welcome a bit of a rarity: Square Root Day, 4/4/16.  

This is one to savor, with the next Square Root Day not occurring until May 5, 2025. In the evolving world of finance, so very much is likely to change between now and that day. In keeping with the numbers theme, we pulled five telling statistics from our recent CFO Indicator reports that illuminate the challenges and opportunities finance teams face.  

70% of CFOs rank collaboration with other parts of the business a top priority for 2016. Collaboration is fast becoming more essential as finance teams seek to work cross-functionally in their organizations. Developing the “soft skills” to communicate and collaborate with partners will be critical moving forward.

50% of CFOs report spending nine-plus hours a week meeting with other departments to help resolve a problem. This statistic speaks to the collaboration challenge cited above, with finance devoting more hours to working with business partners to deal with issues outside of their traditional roles.

62% of CFOs report they have not yet achieved a single source of truth, though it is clearly a top priority, with 45% actively working toward it. Establishing a single source of truth provides a more consistent comprehensive view of the organization in real time. This becomes critical as the amount of data finance teams manage increases and finance is viewed in a more strategic light.

50% increase in data to be managed by finance by 2020, according to one-third of CFOs. A smaller percentage of CFOs expects that data will explode by 1,000% by 2020. One thing is clear, finance teams will have to deal with more and more data, underscoring the need for that single source of truth.

35% of CFOs expect to have a data scientist on staff by the year 2020. That’s double the current number of data scientists working on finance teams, a clear sign that more CFOs are seeing the value of hiring specialized expertise to deal with the data explosion and the increasingly strategic and multifaceted role of finance.

You don’t need an obscure mathematical holiday to know that significant change lies ahead for finance teams. Knowing the numbers, and how to strategically leverage them, is mission-critical for any organization to succeed.

Download the CFO Indicator Q4 2015 report to learn more about the math behind building a collaborative process to achieve business transformation in finance. And stay tuned for Q1 2016 results, which will be announced later this month.

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