Optimising financial processes

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Predictions & Contradictions: Data, Insight & Analytics

Data, Insight & Analytics

It is widely reported that up to 80% of finance effort is spent acquiring and preparing data for reporting, leaving as little as 20% for value added analysis and decision making. This is a challenge that automation advances over recent decades were supposed to have resolved. A recent CFO survey asked the question “are your reporting and analytics keeping pace with business demands?”. The answer told a sad story – 37% said yes, and 63% said no. 66% of respondents said that they were consuming too many resources in mining and interpreting data for analysis and decision making. We still have a lot of work to do here.

We have developed concepts and strategies to address the problem, but big challenges remain.

‘Data Lakes’ and ‘Oceans’ are great concepts, but experience indicates that it is easy to re-create the “sediment and sludge” of the 1990’s ‘data warehouse’. Smart, Process-Aware, Self Service Analytics/Business Intelligence may yet prove to be the answer. Analytics, Decisions & Actions need synchronization and alignment.

The ‘Big Data’ moniker has largely been simplified to just ‘data’ We will continue to see a big swing to focus on exploiting available data and creating actionable insight, for the right people at the right time. This is the era of analytics -the time for talk is over – Just Do It!

Data modelling comes back into fashion after 30 years in the cold – data models are the foundation for data exploration and visualisation. It helps frame the what, and thus the why, how, who and where questions to fully understand a business problem.