Many large corporations have muddled their way through the economic recession and are ready to try out their efforts toward growth. In the past, expansion meant bringing on new employees to supplement additions to their client base and trying out different sets of products, but now it means studying customer insights and making data-driven moves.  

By using business forecasting tools, CEOs will be able to see what their finances will look like six months to a year down the road, while big data deployments are collecting the information companies can use to get a leg up on their competition. Recent research from U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG and CFO Research revealed businesses want analytics and financial planning to be a bigger part of their decision-making in the future.

"We are finding that CFOs want to empower their finance organization and their C-level peers to make better business decisions aligned with a broader enterprise strategy," said Don Mailliard, financial management partner at KPMG. "Years of technology spending have yielded a continued struggle for insight, and now CFOs are looking for a different approach that will help them gain that insight and convert it to action."

Financial and performance information must play a bigger role
If businesses have the opportunity to collect information that will help them, it would be foolish to let it fall by the wayside. This is why members of the C-suite are pining for more resources that allow them to collect data. Many large corporations are ready to purchase solutions that drive results, and don't take a lot of time to figure out.

Two-thirds of CFOs that participated in the survey said their enterprise technology platform is duplicative and complex. By investing in budgeting and forecasting software housed in the cloud, large corporations will have the opportunities to leverage insights about the future, while looking at big data streams to see current trends in the industry.

Financial planning has to be a higher priority
Many CFOs have begun to take an expanded role at their company, and are now getting involved in the strategic planning process that other members of the C-suite have been a part of for years. In their efforts to become more respected to by their peers, the most recent CFO Signals survey from Deloitte showed top financial professionals are willing to embrace big data streams to help them get a better handle on customer information. The insights from these sets will put CFOs in a position to gain greater relevance during the strategic planning process at their firms.

"As CFOs of large companies play broader and more visible roles, they are inevitably redefining their personal brand with their CEOs, their executive peers and their finance staff," Sanford Cockrell III, national managing partner of the CFO Program at Deloitte, told The Wall Street Journal.

Paying attention to analytics and big data streams is the first step in making quicker, better decisions that can impact the successes of the business in both the short and long term.