Four Emerging Trends in Financial Analytics

The financial industry of the future will leverage social platforms, enterprise mobility and data science, addressing the desire for real-time analysis and management to create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Emerging technology trends will allow finance companies to focus on the highest-value activities to transform digital business, creating a new functional operating model. Here are 4 digital trends that are transforming financial analytics.

 

  1. Social Finance

While “social finance” may, at first glance, appear to be an oxymoron, many millennials are invested in collaborative communities if they include a common purpose and a supportive structure. Finance teams can, in fact, be social, generating exceptional analytics forged through the collaborative efforts of visionary strategists, data stewards and result-oriented team members. The financial planning process can involve multiple stakeholders who have expertise and discretion over business operations that include decisions that impact expenses, revenue and capital investment. As more team members analyze data, communicate and engage in budgeting activities, including accurate forecasting, they have more buy-in as it relates to financial performance.

The technology that enables this type of teamwork includes:

  • Shared corporate calendar
  • Focus on processes, deliverables and due dates
  • Chat feature for frequent and informal conversations
  • Tools for advanced business model.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

In today’s fast-changing world, machine learning enables artificial intelligence (AI) to learn from data and make predictions. Tools to improve accuracy are easy to use and enable forecasters to run endless scenarios to hone the precision of projections.

Even financial analysts who aren’t particularly statistically savvy can simulate actions, impact and complex relationships with ease with the help of AI. Whether it’s understanding demand curves, non-linearities or social sentiment, AI can produce unbiased predictive scenarios that humans can rely on due to their objective nature.

What’s more, conversational interfaces that rely on natural language processing (i.e. Amazon’s Alexa) are starting to become as popular in the workplace as they are in the home. Increasingly, these chatbots will become the preferred mode of interaction when it comes to financial analysis use cases. Automated algorithms with prescriptive analytics are an emerging trend in the world of finance.

  1. On-Demand

Finance is re-evaluating “batch-mode” due to the technological revolution. The value of continuous accounting is that journal entries and pro forma consolidation can create instant insight and accelerated reporting. In the near future, managers will expect decision-making timelines to be drastically compressed, due to advances in software and hardware, as well as visual and suggestive analytics that shorten the data-to-decision cycle. Hard-copy handouts will be replaced with visual presentations that utilize live data that allow modelling capabilities, which will dramatically alter strategic decision-making.

  1. Visual Media

New technology visualizations that go way beyond boring bars and pie charts, which are being replaced by sophisticated geospatial and multi-dimensional visuals that supply intuitive explanations. Visualizations enhance communication and help audiences discover insights that are difficult to understand when it comes to complex data relationships.

In the new technological paradigm, people can filter and drill to get quick answers. Insightful data visuals, business intelligence dashboards and storyboards are quickly becoming best practices. Mobile-first design approaches give business stakeholders instant views of data that couldn’t have been imagined even a few years ago.

The finance industry has already begun the accelerated journey to becoming a true business partner by leveraging emerging technological trends and focusing on high value activities.

Click here to learn more about how the knowledge, expertise and resources of Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) can help financial services firms manage their emerging risk.