It’s one thing to have disorganized personal emails or vacation photos. For organizations, however, unstructured data presents a significant — and growing — problem. Using automated expense management software like Chrome River EXPENSE helps centralize expense data, and it can yield cost savings, greater transparency and valuable data assets.

New research by IDC shows unstructured data is proliferating worldwide at an annual rate of 40 to 50 percent, according to an article on To understand why this is a problem, it’s helpful to see it on three levels.

  1. Organizations have amassed data, but it’s fragmented. Without a centralized system, data quickly sprawls across computers, hard drives and mobile devices, as well as cloud-based storage and services.
  2. This data has potential value. With expense management software, for example, connecting and centralizing data across different business departments and offices should streamline the process, saving money.
  3. Assessing the value of data assets requires visibility. Until an organization can access and analyze all of its information, no one can fully know its value. For example, until you’ve used online expense report software to centralize data, it’s difficult for managers to predict the amount they can save by streamlining business processes or working with preferred vendors.

As unstructured yet potentially valuable data piles up, it’s tempting to think of it as an IT problem. However, according to, finance officers have an important role to play in strategically unlocking the value within an organization’s information.

Using an automated expense report program sets the stage for consistent data-gathering. Such a system offers nearly immediate cost savings by eliminating time-consuming manual expense management processes. But this new organization and transparency also enables CFOs and managers to impart more strategic value to business expense tracking while developing data assets that can benefit a wide range of business functions.

Please share your ideas and feedback. How can you see expense management software producing valuable “big data” assets?


Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care. Sally Abella, Director of Corporate Travel Harman International
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic. Ben Zastrow Zelle