Analytics has arguably its biggest impact in the category of finance. It is a thoroughly data-driven industry that now happens almost entirely through digital channels. Analytics transforms that data into the insights decision makers have always wanted but never had before.
Financial analytics is also one of the oldest forms of analytics. It’s as least old as the first spreadsheets, which means it had decades to evolve and mature. We have seen some of the biggest advances in the last decade as AI and machine learning have developed. Yet the most exciting advances are still to come. Watch for these trends to take hold in 2019 and beyond.
Data Volumes Will Continue to Grow
This is both a positive and a negative. It’s positive because the more data you have the better your analytics insights are. It’s a challenge because the volume and velocity of data is already hard to manage. Connected technologies will produce an ocean of valuable financial data that companies need to be ready to manage. Ideally, there is an analytics solution in place that can automatically integrate new data while seamlessly scaling upwards.
Compliance Becoming More Complicated
Regulators are beginning to focus on digital data with intense scrutiny. New and forthcoming regulations require companies, particularly in finance, to preserve more data and to retrieve it at will. These rules will make compliance management a bigger burden and increase the risk of fines and penalties. In anticipation, companies need to implement solutions that give them granular access to data on demand.
Embracing Algorithmic Business
Previously, analytics was focused largely on reporting. Its condensed information into templates on a set schedule. Moving forward the focus will be on analytics for decision making. Instead of generating reports it will facilitate individual queries. Uses will be able to get answers from the data whenever they need and for whatever reason they want. It brings the power of algorithms to the forefront of business instead of treating them like an occasional asset.
Traditionally, financial analytics has been an IT-based endeavor. Tech experts and data scientists produced insights at the request of traders and advisers. The insights were good, but the process was slow and limited. Self-service analytics puts the end user at the center of the experience. Thanks to intuitive and accessible tools, users are able to run their own queries and find their own insights. They don’t have to wait for information or act uncertainty because it’s easy to reference everything independently.
Learning from Visualizations
Financial analytics is immensely helpful, it’s just not great at demonstrating it. Honestly, it tends to replace a massive spreadsheet with a much smaller spreadsheet. So, while the information has become more valuable, it hasn’t become more digestible. As companies begin to compete based on analytics, they are trying to learn more from financial insights in less time.
Data visualizations like charts, graphs, and more sophisticated data maps bring data to life, which why many companies prefer to use financial analytics solution like ThoughtSpot to deliver visualizations in an instant. These visualizations make the takeaways more apparent and the insights more actionable. In coming years analytics solutions will be judged by how well they present information visually.
Now that financial analytics has becoming the norm, companies are spending less time wondering who needs this resource. Instead, they are looking for ways to extend it to the broadest number of users possible. To do that a solution must balance security and control with accessibility and intuitiveness. When that balance is reached, decision makers at all level can make wiser choices. In 2019 and beyond companies will revise their analytics policies to include a lot more users.
How do you plan to utilize financial analytics in 2019? The choice is up to you, except for one option that’s off limits. Opting out of analytics is going to set you behind next year and every year after. If you don’t get on board now you risk being left behind later. Don’t think of it as an obligation. Treat it like the opportunity it is.