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The Paradox of Sophistication

The more data you have, the less use you make of it

The Paradox of Sophistication 

By François Masquelier, Head of Corporate Finance and Treasury, RTL Group and Honorary Chairman of the European Association of Corporate Treasurers


The sophistication of IT systems paradoxically results in a profusion of data and makes it impossible to process or compile it properly. We have to cobble dashboards together in a Heath Robinson manner because the data does not match standard formats and is compartmentalised in its own systems, which are all independent from each other and all different. Since too much is often worse than too little, we may end up submerged in data, or we may just under-use it. The Business Intelligence (BI) challenge is to extract the data, make the formats compatible and process the data to condense it into an appropriate dashboard. In treasury management, we also experience Big Unused Financial Data. This article aims to address that problem.

Drowning in a flood of data

The world of modern finance has become so complex with such a wide range of data that we may end up drowning in the flood of data available. Picking your way through such a flood of data is well nigh impossible. It is like driving an Aston Martin while sticking to first gear. All too often, we under-use available information through having no means of extracting it, condensing it into one single format, and compiling it into a summary.