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How Finance Can Predict Data-Driven Insights with Analytics

Michael Singer
Director, Product Marketing, Oracle Analytics

In today's business environment, companies need more from the finance department than P&L statements and quarterly reports. They need predictive, data-driven insights that shape future business strategies and improve real-time decision-making.

This is easier said than done as finance executives are awash with larger volumes of data than ever before. Just think of all the data generated by customers, products, and suppliers. With analytics, however, it's possible to bring finance into the future with predictive modeling, detailed analysis, and insights from artificial intelligence (AI).

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To help tackle the logistics of how augmented analytics like Oracle Analytics Cloud can convert raw data into actionable business decisions, we invited a panel of experts to talk about "Leveraging Analytics for Predictive Data-Driven Insights." Joining the webcast were Dan Rashba, Director of Finance at TripAdvisor; Valentino Hafalia, Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis at Western Alliance Bank, and Bob Dutcher, Vice President of Product Marketing at Oracle Business Analytics and Big Data.

Data Powers Digital Finance

The panel discussed several examples of how to infuse augmented analytics into finance best practices, including:

•    Making investment and operating decisions leveraging data-driven analysis from all sources of data (e.g., finance, HR, sales)
•    Transforming finance with AI to improve time to delivery and accuracy of reports and models
•    Forecasting future financial outcomes based on historical, trend, and market data

"When we look at data and how it relates to financial analysis, sometimes we forget the basic steps," Oracle's Dutcher says. "A lot of times—and I'm guilty of this as well—we jump right into artificial intelligence and machine learning. But there is a lot of the foundation around data analytics that needs to be addressed."

To that end, Dutcher suggests that finance experts start with a quality data preparation process followed by enabling the right key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics for review by those primary stakeholders. Sharing that information to the various business partners and finally enriching the data with machine learning processes can drive real change.

How Finance Can Predict Data-Driven Insights with Analytics

"We have seen a shift from measuring transactions to measuring actions," says TripAdvisor's Rashba. "We have 400 million users per month that we match with hotels, restaurants, and other experiences. As we get more data from our customers, we want to determine not only their online actions on our site but follow up with their actions after using our online tools. We want to know, 'Did they show up at that restaurant or take that cruise?'"

Western Alliance Bank's Hafalia says he looks at data through the lens of a cloud-based platform and getting alignment through the company's leadership with the use of mobile devices.

"Our executives are using technology that is familiar but also new to them. Most of us start our day by checking our phones to read our news or check our share price," Hafalia notes. "But how about looking at your phone to see how your division is doing with loan and deposit volume in terms of revenue or expenses? By adopting cloud-based solutions that can be shared on a smartphone, we can keep our decision-makers in the know whenever they want."

To experience the full thought leadership presentation and interactive panel discussion, register for the webcast entitled "Leveraging Analytics for Predictive Data-Driven Insights."

To learn how you too can benefit from Oracle Analytics, visit Oracle.com/analytics.

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