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WSJ/CFO Journal, Nov 22, 2013 By Noelle Knox
Big Data is so integrated into the finance department at that the analytics team can’t change an Internet search algorithm...

  ...or pay more for Google Ad Words without the green-light from the division’s chief financial officer.

It’s really been in the last couple of years, since we invented that algorithm, that the role of the CFO has changed. You need to be able to understand how it works at a pretty detailed level,” Liz Coddington, vice president of finance and CFO of, told a CFO conference this week.

“I have to spend a lot of time with the engineers to understand how it works so that when they say, ‘What do you think?’ I don’t just say, ‘That’s fine,’ and realize it doesn’t work after we’ve spent a couple million bucks.”

Her division is now hiring more engineers out of school than graduates with master’s degrees in business administration. She said she looks for candidates who are smart, can build relationships and have an “intellectual curiosity.” In exchange, she said, she can offer them an almost unparalleled opportunity to work with massive quantities of data. 

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