Creating new ways to gather and analyze information of varying types, sizes and volume is no longer the sole prerogative of marketing, sales and product development. Finance and human resources (HR) departments, often in collaboration, are discovering that they too can determine new insights and improve strategic decision making – thanks to harnessing the power of big data.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review report, The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance, many companies are just beginning to build capabilities in the big data area.

To recognize the full benefits, HR and finance will need to invest in big data technology – just as marketing and sales do – to collect and analyze data. That means, as the Harvard Business Review stipulated, HR and finance will need to win the approval and support of the C-suite for funding, as well as demonstrate they can create a culture that emphasizes scientific methods and data-driven decision making to fuel inquiry and innovation.

ERP.big.dataIt seems that while CFOs and chief human resource officers (CHROs) manage two of the most strategic enterprise resources—financial capital and human capital, CEOs appear to focus their technology investments in other directions — for now.

According to the Harvard Business Review, this suggests the CFO and the CHRO ought to join forces in the pursuit of big data agendas, and in many cases they do.

What’s more, a recent global survey of executives at more than 1,200 companies by Tata Consulting Services confirmed that finance and HR are among the lowest priorities for big data investment. As the poor bedfellows for analytics budgets, today’s finance and HR executives could be natural partners in the quest to secure tools and talent to leverage big data.

In recent years, marketing, customer service and product development have received the lion’s share of attention and investment for big data. However, with less fanfare, HR and finance, often in collaboration, are also starting to use big data.

Big Data ERP

Over time, successful, growing companies embrace technology across the enterprise. For finance and HR executives, benefitting from big data means leveraging Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions.

With ERP solutions, big data opportunities including everything from accounts receivable, cash management, bank reconciliation and budgeting to employee lifecycle management, recruitment and resourcing and more are automated and streamlined. performance management, reporting and analytics functionality are tailored for HR and finance pros to optimize data – contributing to better workforce management. For today’s HR and finance professionals, selecting the right ERP software solution can usher in a new era of data understanding and executive decision empowerment – all it may take is a little collaboration.