Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB) announced results of a global study that examines how today’s finance leaders are managing risk in a function awash with data and technology. The Risk Revolution found that while finance chiefs remain tasked with business profitability, their remit has expanded to efficiently share data across organizations and lead adoption of emerging tools that manage burgeoning global risk.  

“With economic and political uncertainty across so much of the world, we found that finance leaders are struggling to manage risk effectively,” said Eric Dowdell, global head of Dun & Bradstreet’s Trade Credit business. “Finance leaders report they are aware of and encouraged by the possibilities of modern, data-driven tools to drive better business outcomes, yet sophistication and adoption remain alarmingly low.”

Among the Risk Revolution’s key findings:

Risky Business
Monitoring risks within a business’ customer, supplier, or partner base ranked as the top challenge facing finance leaders today, with 38 percent of respondents classifying this as their chief concern. Overall, most finance leaders believe their own efforts to manage, monitor, and predict customer, supplier or partner viability pose a moderate to high risk to their businesses.  Forecasting or predicting risk was the number two concern of finance leaders, while the third was growing profitability. External influences, specifically geopolitical risks, technological disruption, NAFTA renegotiations, and the pace of innovation were considered the top four factors that increased business risk over the past year.

Data Data Everywhere, Nor Not a Byte to Eat
Most finance leaders are not effectively managing data to help mitigate business risk. Over 60 percent of respondents report that their data currently exists in organizational silos, with over half reporting difficulty sharing, linking and using data to drive their risk management strategies.

The Future is Here, But Where?
Many finance leaders see promise in automation, yet tools such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, or machine learning are not being leveraged by most of the respondents today.  Less than 20 percent of finance leaders indicated that their company is “advanced” in the sophistication of their teams’ use of modern risk management tools.  Self-created analytics and credit reports rank as the most common tools finance leaders use to manage risk.

Finance leaders have an opportunity to make sense of data and lead cross-departmental collaboration and strategic decision-making. Those who leverage technology and modern tools can implement a cross-functional data strategy to help their organizations better share insights, navigate uncertainties in the market, and manage global risks to grow profitability.

To view Dun & Bradstreet’s Risk Revolution report in its entirety, please visit: https://dnb.com/perspectives/finance-credit-risk/2018-global-risk-management-study.html

Additionally, a joint webinar, The (R)evolution of Risk Management: Discovering Opportunity in a Universe of Risk, will be hosted by CFO.com and Dun & Bradstreet on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 2 p.m. EST. Led by Dun & Bradstreet’s Dowdell, the webinar will further explore how finance leaders are applying technology and data to their organizations’ risk management efforts. Register at: http://aef.argyleforum.com/The(R)evolutionofRiskManagementDiscoveringOpportunityinaUniverseofRisk

Note about methodology:
In April 2018, Dun & Bradstreet conducted a study of finance professionals using an online survey tool to collect and evaluate the results. The study targeted thousands of finance professionals in roles ranging from end user to executive within companies of all sizes within the US, UK, and Canada. A total of approximately 1,100 responses were received.

Source: Dun & Bradstreet