More than a quarter of finance professionals currently lack expertise in data processes and analysis
London, UK, 7 September 2021 – Forty-two percent of financial professionals believe having analytical skills will be a key requirement to fulfil their roles in the future, according to findings from the latest FinTech Barometer survey of finance professionals, carried out by Visma | Onguard, the fintech company that focuses on the order-to-cash process. This is followed by programming skills (37%), reflecting the growing role technology is playing within finance roles, and leadership qualities (34%).
This comes in tandem with technology’s growing impact on the role of the finance professional, as almost half of those surveyed (47%) expect artificial intelligence (AI) to have the greatest impact on their sector in the near future, closely followed by big data (44%). Consequently, gaining analytical and programming skills will be critical to help financial professionals get ahead of these emerging trends and future-proof their skill sets.
Barriers to become fully data-driven
The research also highlighted that more than half (52%) of financial professionals hope that their organisation will become fully data-driven within the next three years, further evidencing why analytical ability is expected to be so sought-after.
The reasons to become data-driven are plentiful, with becoming more responsive to market trends and developments cited as the main goal of these initiatives by 23% of respondents. Other drivers include improving customer experience (22%), increasing service or product offerings (16%) and reducing costs (14%).
However, there are several barriers currently preventing businesses from becoming data-driven and achieving those goals. The biggest challenge is revealed to be combining and gaining optimum value from data due to having various internal and external data sources, cited by 41% of finance professionals. Further to this, 37% of financial professionals say they lack the right technology to make data optimally available, while more than a quarter (26%) lack expertise in data processes and analysis.
Shift focus to analytical skills
Marieke Saeij, CEO at Visma | Onguard: “The advent of big data and technologies, such as intelligent automation, robotic process automation and AI, means that finance professionals no longer need to be burdened by manual and repetitive tasks. Instead, there is an opportunity for these individuals to shift their focus to more value-adding tasks and gain the skills they need to take on a more analytical function. This will enable them to edge closer to becoming a fully data-driven organisation and allow individuals to take a truly proactive approach to key initiatives, whether that’s emerging trends in the market or enhancing the customer experience. This will automatically lead to better business results.”