Kristof Stouthuysen certainly got our attention in FDmagazine's Conferenz in Cadzand. The Associate Professor Management Accounting at Vlerick highlighted results from 'Why data is the next oil’.
The cfo's attending the event learned that succesful companies use more data and rely less on intuition. Finance departments already tend to do that, but now they will have to rely on unstructured data like video, text, social media, e-mails... The availability of more data and the development of machine learning expand possibilities for predictions with more accuracy.
Kristof also sees three priorities in finance departments: big data & analytics (1), digitalisation & automation (2) and strategy (3) Still, CFO's also indicated they still have a lot to learn in exactly these fields.
Threshholds are a lack of knowledge (1), lots of other day-to-day issues (2), lack of expertise to capture data (3), a company culture that is not ready for data processing (4) and GDPR (5).
In all AI is a potential gold mine for the finance department. Kristof highlighted opportunities for Performance Management, since we will need less KPI’s that are better connected to the company strategy. Which puts the cfo in a driving seat for strategy advise.