Use of business intelligence in management accounting : an application of the technology acceptance model on the use of dashboards with financial data in decision-making practices in management accounting
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the acceptance and use of business intelligence (BI) solutions in decision making in management accounting (MA). To do so we have sought to answer the following research question: How can the use of BI solutions in MA facilitate data-driven decision making? During the last decade, due to the staggering technological growth, there has been a lot of research on both BI and MA. However, the research on BI solutions and their impact on MA is limited. We aim to contribute with insights into this cross-disciplinary field by identifying which elements are important to consider when using financial data as decision making support, and by this facilitate for data-driven decision making in MA, using BI solutions. To do this we conducted a survey, directed at decision makers in a large Norwegian company. The survey is mostly quantitative, with questions based on the TAM framework, while also having embedded qualitative components. Subsequently the analysis is based on both quantitative and qualitative data gathered from the respondents to our survey. When answering our main research question, we find three main findings which have important implications for our case company. We find that compatibility (C) is the factor shown to be the most important for the acceptance and use of BI solutions, which implies that the specific needs which make up the compatibility need to be mapped out and taken into account. Secondly, we find that the information presented in the dashboard needs to be uncomplicated and tell a story about the data, so that it can be used as efficient decision support. Lastly, we find that it is important to have a continuous development of the users’ knowledge and skills, so that they are kept at an adequate level in accordance with the solutions used. Subsequently it is highly important that there is a valid reason for implementing new technological solutions, to avoid implementing for the sake of implementing it. Our research finds that for a dashboard solution to be a good decision support for basing decisions on these aspects need to be both considered and acted on.