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Using the 5 V's of big data to embrace finance digital transformation – Accounting Today

From finance to education to law, no profession will go unaffected by digital transformation. This includes accounting professionals — despite the fact that our field has long relied on digital technologies to simplify the many repetitive tasks demanded by our jobs.

One of the most interesting, yet overlooked aspects of digital transformation is the way in which it changes the shape of data available to auditing professionals. New technologies such as robotic process automation will increase not only the amount of data available to analyze, but also how that data needs to be analyzed as well as the variety of data models that auditors must become familiar with.

A popular means by which to understand the role of data in digital transformation involves invoking the “five V’s” of big data. The five V’s is a common framework used by technology analysts and executives for understanding corporate data, which tends to be highly abstract and otherwise difficult to conceptualize. By using the five V’s below, we are able to think more productively about technology strategy in our profession:

  • Value: The real or assumed business value of data;
  • Volume: The amount of data (depending on your industry, typically measured in terabytes or exabytes);
  • Variety: The different types and categories of data available;
  • Veracity: The verifiability or authenticity of the data; and
  • Velocity: The speed by which data is coming into the business.

When paired with emerging technologies that are increasingly playing a role in digital transformation in the enterprise, this framework can be useful for assessing the specific impact of finance digital transformation on internal auditing. Here are some considerations accounting professionals should keep in mind, using the five V’s as a model:

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