Well firstly, stop referring to “AI” as Artificial Intelligence and then believing it to be the ‘A1 route to success’.
In truth “AI” is best referred to as “Augmented Intelligence”, i.e. it builds upon and can expand existing knowledge or intelligence for improved Insights. Whilst, “AI” can guide and influence decisions, even when used in automated environments, the actual Decisions (the when, where, and how setups, tolerances etc.) have to be made by intelligent humans.
Modern Financial Planning, as well as Financial Consolidation and Reporting, software packages will often make claims regarding ‘foundations in’, or ‘incorporation of’, both AI and Machine Learning when in reality, as an IBM product demonstrator admitted at a recent event, … “in truth we simply hide lists when options are set to …, most frequently used”. However, some Vendors do genuinely include “AI”.
In order to be of any significant benefit, “Machine Learning” requires two essential elements, either; Big Data, or simply as much Data as possible; and also computing power. Todays’ 64-bit, in memory Solutions will eventually become superseded by faster and larger in-memory capabilities (i.e. 128-bit+ processors). Accordingly, where “ML” can make the greatest impact, is when Data Trends and/or Discovery are helpful.
No-one could seriously believe that work of Financial departments is becoming less complex, however, with the correct selection of the “tools” that are used, it is possible that the management of the processes can become more encompassing (across greater bandwidth with increased granularity) and simpler, through use of templates and pre-defined routines.
Financial experts do not necessarily need to become Data Scientists, but they should understand the fundamentals of Data Analysis and the value of “focused” Business Insights. Technology should not be seen as the ‘panacea’ of all ills, but rather the ‘enabler’ of more complete and well-rounded Solutions.
The experience of LSA Solutions, is that the… ‘one-size fits all’ approach, is often not the most efficient. Usually, transaction-based systems are not necessarily the most appropriate for any in-depth planning or forecasting. Planning tools often require complex modelling to enable Financial Consolidation and Compliance Reporting. Financial Reporting tools can then be limited by their capabilities to enable “driver-based” planning or bespoke forecasting processes. Hybrid Solutions are required and available.
LSA Solutions proven expertise and accreditation by multiple software Vendors, together with in-depth knowledge of the Financial Performance Management (e.g. FPM; BPM; EPM; CPM) and BI marketplace, enable evaluation of individual clients needs and agnostic recommendation of the most appropriate “tools”, considering the likes of Budget constraints, alongside all existing processes and skillsets, as well as being cognisant of any future expectations. LSA do offer initial ‘free of charge’ reviews and meetings.
Single platform, on-premise or Cloud (hosted), modern, integrated Solutions that deliver upon ROI expectations are readily available and can be implemented by LSA Solutions.
For future information, please contact the author, or visit www.LSA-Solutions.co.uk for latest web site information.