Economic revolutions and transformations need fuel. In the past, entire economies were transformed by coal to fuel new manufacturing processes. Today, oil is the fuel behind the growth and functioning of many industries. And in the future, Industry 4.0, the next industrial revolution, will be fueled by the collection and application of data and information.
In our recent survey into the transformation of treasury management, “Fit for the future: monitoring transformation to Treasury 4.0”, treasury and finance professionals certainly agree with this sentiment as it applies to their work – telling us that tapping data will drive the future of financial management.
Treasury functions have always been data-driven, drawing on multiple sources of information and insight to accurately forecast cash flows, manage liquidity, and to ensure the right levels of funding for the firm.
In the future, however, data will be managed, and insights drawn beyond spreadsheet capabilities and skillsets. Our survey found that 28 per cent of treasurers believe the most important future treasury technologies will be AI and Machine Learning, with 22 per cent believing that Big Data and Data Analytics technologies being the most important. And to see tangible benefits of new data analysis technology implementations, 25 per cent of treasurers we surveyed feel that the most critical future treasury techniques and processes will focus on Advanced Data Analytics and Reporting.
Ultimately, a data-driven, digital treasury will enable treasurers to better support and contribute to their firms’ strategic financial decisions.
Despite 72 per cent of treasury functions already using or implementing Big Data and Data Analytics into their processes, there remain some barriers to data nirvana. In particular, treasury teams will need to upskill beyond existing spreadsheet mastery, to new data analytics processes and techniques. 19
per cent of treasury professionals feel that data analytics will be the single most vital future treasury skillset for their teams. The transformation challenge that is, however, presented, is that 27 per cent believe that data analytics is a priority skill gap today.
Getting fit for the future of treasury management should, therefore, prioritise identifying your own firm’s data analytics technology and skillset gaps and designing and deploying a programme of transformation. Data-driven technology is a significant part of the journey to treasury transformation. What will be equally important is ensuring treasury teams are fit and ready to leverage technology and new data techniques.
Find out more about how your treasury professional peers are gearing up for their firm’s transformation in our full corporate treasury report “Fit for the future: monitoring transformation to Treasury 4.0” available to download here.