Finance leaders today have untapped potential to unlock greater levels of value within their teams through automation. For finance leaders in particular, automation must go beyond a “good idea” and become a strategic methodology to ignite the true potential of human, data, and machine in finance.
Reliable data is foundational to successful automation efforts in finance and credit. Today’s modern business environment has created a torrent of data—and most aren’t managing it well. In its recently released 2019 Past, Present & Future of Data Report, Dun & Bradstreet found that as a result of shortcomings in data management, nearly one in five (19%) businesses have lost a customer by using incomplete or inaccurate information about them. One in five businesses also say their financial forecasts have been inaccurate as a result of poor data management.
Technology is key, but behind many failed automation efforts lurks the problem of inaccurate, incomplete, or unreliable data. The truth is that none of the primary or ancillary benefits of automation—cost savings, higher levels of strategic value, scalable processes, greater efficiency, effective risk management—can be realized without a foundation of reliable data at the heart. This is where many businesses find themselves stuck creating more efficient results from an inaccurate foundation, leading to errors, unhappy customers, and lost opportunities.
In partnership with the Credit Research Foundation in the United States and the Chartered Institute of Credit Management in the United Kingdom, Dun & Bradstreet conducted an informal study of 250 finance and credit leaders in the U.S. and U.K. to understand how finance leaders are embracing automation today, and what barriers and challenges stand in their way. We see within the study that 83% of respondents are automating at least one of their processes, but many struggle to follow the full potential of automation within their organizations. We also see that reliable data is their #1 success factor to implementing automation strategies.
The next several years will be a turning point for finance and credit teams as they strive to merge new technologies and infrastructures with effective data management strategies to unlock the potential of their businesses, and their teams. The possibilities for true business transformation through automation is certainly paved with complexity, but ripe with opportunity. The time to embrace the opportunity is now.