Business intelligence: The next frontier

Big data is beautiful and complex. It’s also changing the way businesses make decisions.

The demand for up-to-date digital skills in business is on the rise. This growing trend confirms the huge value data adds in the right hands, helping organizations better understand the market and create new business models. Recent examples include the amount of companies exploring blockchain technology in North America – close to 84 per cent, according to PwC – and the popularity of cryptocurrency.


However, despite the fact that many financial institutions, firms and corporations are interested in data-driven decision making, theory falls short from practice in Canada when it comes to fully embracing digital transformation. Business intelligence (BI) is still a specialized area, but it’s one poised for growth among CPAs who are ready to become digital change agents.

Every business is now a technology business in the digital economy, and CPAs have an important role to play by fostering an innovative mindset at work. For long-term success and sustainability, companies need leaders who can develop strategies that are responsive to change.


When big data is paired with the unique financial expertise of accountants, it improves innovation and efficiency at every level.

Cloud-based computing options and the latest BI tools, such as Microsoft’s PowerBI and PowerQuery, are helping professionals refine an unprecedented amount of usable data. From data prep to analysis and visualization, knowing how to optimize data management will help you achieve a stronger competitive advantage. This includes the identification of new opportunities, as well as leading the way by with best practices to navigate disruption, drive revenue and enhance client experience.

The most effective applications of business intelligence improve outcomes for people, products and performance. It’s up to CPAs to harness the power of data and turn it into something meaningful.

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Learn more about how to turn data into insights that drive smart decision making in our new specialized professional development program, the Data Management Certificate.