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The future is financial analytics

/ 05:04 AM September 14, 2019

The world is aligning toward the rapid use of financial data. Governments and businesses are now seeking the ability to see how their financial transactions happen everywhere, and to see such information all the time. The value of business and financial analytics services is projected to reach $27 billion by 2022, making it the new gold rush and validating data as the new gold.

Singapore, Southeast Asia’s lead financial data hub, quickly saw the rush and hosted the $1-billion Facebook data center as well as the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s first joint research institute. Vietnam embraced it by supporting financial analytics companies; Ho Chi Minh-based Larion currently provides financial data management to more than 15 countries. Meanwhile, NTT Data of Malaysia hired business intelligence finance professionals who help their clients define and manage strategy, enhance profitability and cost management; and streamline budgeting, planning and forecasting cycles. In the Philippines, companies such as Sprout Solutions bring tools from predictive analytics to the world of human resources.

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It is now an analytics-driven world, and financial analytics is the 24k of the new gold. To reap the rewards of the financial data-driven world, the government, academe and businesses must make targeted investments in emerging analytical tools and IT infrastructure to support them.

The government should lead the effort to speed up internet connectivity in the country. Despite improvements, average mobile and fixed-line internet speeds in the Philippines still fall below the global average (Speedtest Global Index, July 2019). The country ranked 110th among 139 surveyed countries; its average mobile internet download speed of 15.75 megabits per second was far below the global average of 26.12 mbps. If the Philippines wants to become the choice location for companies looking to expand their big data operations in Asia, then the average broadband speed should be more than twice the global average.

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Higher education in the country is recognizing the importance of data analytics; universities are now offering bachelor’s and master’s courses in data analytics. Academics should take the lead to learn and teach financial analytics to business and accountancy students, because businesses are evolving with the technology, and companies need more data from finance on top of accurate financial statements and reports.

The need to shape business strategies and improve day-to-day decision-making in real time, by having predictive insights mined from the growing mountain of data, is now getting to be a must. Skills on the use of software such as Oracle Analytics and Zoho Analytics that can help improve day-to-day decision-making in real time, the faster processing of business data and the production of insightful reports should be part of every business curriculum. Financial analytics software can reduce human bias, thereby making decisions data-driven, with greater accuracy and shorter workflow.

The gold rush is here—data is the new gold, and financial data is the 24k gold. Companies and governments are embracing financial data analytics, so the academe should offer students the opportunity to take up financial education certification programs and participate in financial analytics internships, to allow them to apply their skills in a real-world business environment.

Arnel L. Cadeliña is the dean of the College of Business and Accountancy at Sacred Heart College-Lucena City. He obtained his MBA at Ateneo and is a certificate holder in the Investment Foundation Program of the CFA Institute.

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TAGS: financial analytics, Singapore, Southeast Asia, Vietnam
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