Looking into the Future of Finance Analytics

The Quintessential Technology Source for Corporate Financial Professionals

Looking into the Future of Finance Analytics

Sarah Dawson, CFO Tech Outlook | Friday, May 14, 2021

Many financial organizations are struggling to keep pace with the explosion of new technologies available on the market.

Fremont, CA: For so many years, the digital transformation of finance has been in progress. The ability to automate manual tasks and processes utilizing digital technologies has enabled finance to shift its focus from back-office processing and historical outcomes reporting to forward-looking business forecasting and analysis.

And although according to the 2020 FSN Future of Analytics in Finance report, most companies use analytics in some way, only 14 percent of financial organizations are successfully harnessing the large volumes of data produced by transactional systems to generate useful business insights. Finance teams who have been active in harnessing these data troves will ask better questions, model scenarios, more accurately forecast, and uncover actionable insights that drive enhanced decision-making.

Operational Data Is Sometimes Ignored

Although several companies have concentrated on enhancing their analytical processes, a powerful source of insights lacks most of them. Data from the Purchase to Pay (P2P) and Quote to Cash (Q2C) processes are considered to be transactional and largely overlooked, with a lot of emphasis on the Record to Report (R2R) process for generating financial results and the Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting (BPF) process. Properly leveraged, these processes can provide useful consumer behavior and supplier performance telemetry as well as signals that can reveal key opportunities or risks to the organization. In order to get a complete picture of the business, data from these and other systems and processes must be integrated and aligned with financial data to provide actionable insights and support decisions that could create competitive advantages.

Information Systems Strategy is Often Forgotten

Many financial organizations are struggling to keep pace with the explosion of new technologies available on the market. These include cloud-based ERP and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions, robotic process automation (RPA), advanced analytics, predictive analytics, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and more. While these technologies may be useful, a holistic information systems strategy is needed to successful organizations. Yet, most of them are far from achieving this.

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