Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada)

Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada)
SAP Canada Inc.

SAP Canada Inc.

June 07, 2012 12:00 ET

Real Time Business: Making the Most of Big Data

Financial executives emphasize desire for accurate operational data in real time

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 7, 2012) - Executives want up to date information about what is happening in their company in order to make better and faster decisions. According to Real Time Business: Making the Most of Big Data, a study conducted by the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation (CFERF), the demand for accurate operational data in real time is driven in part by the widespread use of mobile devices in the workplace, a trend known as the consumerization of IT. Workers who own mobile devices, such as tablets, expect to have access to the same state-of-the art devices at work to get secure access to up to date information from all aspects of their business. The study was sponsored by SAP Canada.

The study shows that organizations are still making decisions from outdated aggregated data. And while many companies acknowledge business processes are increasingly complex, some of them are still relying almost exclusively on simple tools such as spreadsheets.

"The pace of business is rapidly accelerating, and executives need to be prepared to make quick decisions that will affect their business. For organizations to remain competitive, they must master the ability to process massive amounts of data in order to be more responsive to the demands of their business," said Michael Conway, Chief Executive and National President, FEI Canada.

CFERF, the research arm of FEI Canada, conducted the survey of financial executives across Canada and gathered insights from research forums held in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The study's findings highlight the perspectives of senior financial executives, from public and private companies, who have shared their knowledge of managing and analyzing data.

According to 95% of respondents, increasing profit is their top priority, and this area is where they would like to improve their ability to analyze and retrieve information in real time, followed by:

  • Cost analysis and management
  • Risk assessment;
  • Risk management; and
  • Budgeting and planning.

Aggregating huge amounts of data across a company to prepare it for quick analysis is not always easy. For starters, the study found that different areas of a company may have inconsistent standards, processes or routines for measuring, quantifying and inputting their data. A company which grew through a merger or acquisition, for instance, may be running multiple legacy systems and databases which may not be compatible.

"Companies are collecting digital data at phenomenal rates and, as the datasets increase, so can the time required to search and analyze the information stored", says David Porter, National Director, Value Engineering, SAP Canada Inc. "Now, more than ever, there is a greater need for CFOs to analyze and determine their organization's IT issues so they are able to adjust their data processing systems."

From an operational perspective, real time business may allow for the simplification of business processes, in turn boosting employee productivity. It may also foster operational efficiencies, for instance, by allowing companies to more effectively manage their inventory levels and thus achieve cost reductions and revenue gains.

To view the full report, please visit the following link:

The Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation (CFERF) is the non-profit research institute of Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada). The foundation's mandate is to advance the profession and practices of financial management through research. CFERF undertakes objective research projects relevant to the needs of FEI Canada's 1,800 members in working toward the advancement of corporate efficiency in Canada. Further information can be found at

Financial Executives International Canada (FEI Canada) is the all industry professional membership association for senior financial executives. With eleven chapters across Canada and more than 1,800 members, FEI Canada provides professional development, thought leadership and advocacy services to its members. The association membership, which consists of Chief Financial Officers, Audit Committee Directors and senior executives in the Finance, Controller, Treasury and Taxation functions, represents a significant number of Canada's leading and most influential corporations. Further information can be found at

About SAP Canada Inc.

SAP Canada Inc., based in Toronto, is a subsidiary of SAP AG (NYSE:SAP), the world's leading provider of business software. Operating in the Canadian market since 1989, SAP Canada Inc. serves over 2,300 customers and employs over 2,000 across Canada. SAP also has a significant research and development presence in Canada, with labs located in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

About SAP AG

As a market leader in enterprise application software, SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device - SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 190,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of SuccessFactors) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

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