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CFO Research found that 87% of senior finance executive responders said managers need to analyze financial and performance data much more quickly in order to meet their companies’ targets for profitable growth. But, despite this “need for speed,” only 12% of survey respondents indicate that their finance function can respond to requests from business managers in “real time.” More than half say it typically takes finance staff up to one day to respond to business units’ requests for information and analysis, and more than a quarter say that it takes longer than a day.

Technology is the logical and proven path to reducing response times but needs to keep the end use firmly in mind. Eight in ten survey respondents believe that their ability to meet growth targets would improve if their information systems were easier to use—despite two-thirds of respondents saying that their systems had already become largely “self-service.”

Many businesses have developed their information systems to the point where management has access to more information faster. Now, reaching the next level of performance requires even closer collaboration with skilled finance analysts to work out what to do with all that data. As the CFO of a Mexican electronics firm put it in his survey response, “Technology is a good ally…if you know how to use it.”

*To view the full report, download here.

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