“Extensive use of data, statistical and quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive models and fact-based management to drive decisions and actions”
— by Thomas Davenport
This time the Dubai FP&A Board engaged in the discussion about FP&A analytical challenges and the ways to overcome them.
The UAE are well-known for their innovation and vision. This was also reflected in the FP&A Board being strong, well-balanced and knowledgeable. The meeting was attended by 32 finance professionals from leading local and international companies. They represented such organisations as Barclays Bank, Johnson & Johnson, Nokia, Telstra Corporation and others.
- What is the definition of advanced FP&A analytics? Are we ready for predictive, prescriptive, visual and big data analytics in finance?
- What are the key stages in FP&A analytical transformation? Review of FP&A Maturity Model.
- Case study
- Integrated Financial Planning and Analysis
- Conclusions and recommendations
Given a qualified and passionate community, it was not surprising that the problems and solutions from the FP&A field were discussed with synergy. This led to several conclusions:
- Finance analytical transformation involves many steps that are both cultural and analytical
- It is not enough to just implement an analytical system. A company has to prepare in advance: driver-based models, balanced participative approach and vision are essential and should be effectively used before analytical transformation
- Although Excel has become obsolete, it can be used for the ad-hoc work. On the contrary, Excel is unsuitable for planning and forecasting, in this case finance practitioners need flexible systems
- Analytical talent is not easy to find and to retain
Each of the FP&A meetings is also marked by one or two presentations delivered by experienced finance practitioners. In Dubai, Kamal Goyal, CFO at Essar Projects, presented a case study “Using Analytics for Benchmarking” which was followed by a lively discussion.