The journey for Finance to transition from the hindsight looking Trusted Scorekeeper to the forward looking predictive Strategic Partner include investments in Systems, people and processes. Since most Finance groups are just starting their journey, how can they get a leap into becoming a predictive hub who provide unbiased forecast solutions and insight and foresight for data driven decisions?
This article is the fourth and last in the Unbiased Forecast article series and will discusses a new groundbreaking service, Forecasting as a Service (FaaS). FaaS can deliver advanced analytics and Artificial Intelligence to Finance for forecasting and predictions without any investment by Finance in systems, people, and processes. FaaS is a concept for the Finance organization that wants a leap into Next Generation Finance.
The information in the article and more will be covered at JPK Group’s 2020 Analytics Academy. Click here for more information.
Next Generation Finance
The figure below depicts the stair-steps to Next Generation Finance to rise from generating efficiencies to insights to top-line growth. To achieve Intelligence and Strategy Finance will require an analytics toolbox beyond Excel and people skillset to think in advanced analytics terms. Most Finance groups are at the bottom stair steps focused on Basics and Acumen, but their business partner’s demands much more today. The pressure is being exerted from the CEO and business unit leaders for Finance to generate more insights and foresight for better forecasting and predictions to improve top line performance.
Forecasting as a Service (FaaS)
It takes time to build Next Generation Finance, but to deliver the benefits now, FaaS is a solution for Finance who wants to advance their analytics without investments. It’s the analytics tool and data scientist all rolled into one predictive and prescriptive analytics solution. It utilize an AI engine to provide Unbiased Forecasting and Analytics for Data Driven Decisions which enables Finance to engage advanced analytics beyond Excel without investing in systems, people and processes.
As depicted in the figure above, a CSV file is uploaded to the FaaS Cloud. From there the Aurora AI forecast engine LightZ take over and provide an unbiased forecast solution and Advanced Analytics for data driven decisions (elements described in article 2 and 3 in this series). No statistics to know, LightZ is designed with visual images that explain the results. No need for IT, data scientist, programming, hardware or software.
The cost benefit for FaaS is significant as it can be delivered for at least two-thirds less cost than the traditional approach of hiring people and acquiring tools. It also delivers the benefits immediately. No waiting through implementation and training cycles. As such, FaaS gives Finance a seat-at-the-table by providing insight and foresight to influence and impact strategic decisions.
Unlike other cloud applications that have customers on a shared server, LightZ is an enterprise tool and each customer’s data and access is on a separate secure server in the Microsoft Azure cloud.
If you are interested in this topic, then join us at the next Analytics Academy!
Click here for more information and to register!
This article is a collaboration between Robert J Zwerling and Jesper H Sorensen from the organization Finance Analytics Institute (www.fainstitute.com) and is an excerpt from their book, Implementing an Analytics Culture for Data Driven Decisions – A Manifesto for Next Generation Finance. Robert and Jesper are the content creators behind the Analytics Academy and will teaching at the Academy in September!
Copyright 2019 Finance Analytics Institute, Robert J Zwerling & Jesper H Sorensen. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced without this copyright notice.