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How to Handle the Data Deluge | @CloudExpo #FinTech #BigData #IoT #AI #DX

The challenge for organizations is pulling all the critical data together into a coherent view of the business

How to Handle the Data Deluge and Drive Business Success

In recent years, the amount of data available to the finance department has exploded. While in the past, companies worked hard to secure all of their key information in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, today organizations are collecting data from a multitude of systems - from customer relationship management (CRM), website tracking, supply chain, human resources, and more - generating a vast amount of information that can be used to support decision-making.

This data deluge brings a great wealth of opportunity, with more information than ever to work into forecasts and inform financial plans. However, it also brings a fresh set of challenges. With so much data at its disposal, the finance department spends more time, resources, and skilled staff wrangling the data. As a result of being overwhelmed by data, most planning processes today are static - meaning they lack buy-in, are inaccurate, and quickly fall out of date. And those plans can't serve as the strategic, dynamic management tool today's finance teams need to drive business success.

Achieving a holistic view of the business
The challenge for organizations is pulling all the critical data together into a coherent view of the business that allows them to confidently act on well-founded plans. Increasingly, CFOs are being tasked with not only understanding and communicating financial results but also with helping the organization understand the operational drivers behind them, requiring a more detailed analysis of business KPIs, many of which are non-financial. In fact, a recent report found that 76 percent of CFOs are tracking non-financial KPIs, which involves greater collaboration across the organization and data integration to create a holistic view of the business.

While it is positive that so many CFOs are taking this step to become a more strategic advisor, this influx of new data can pose a problem when it comes to consolidation. With financial and operational data typically being housed in disparate, unconnected systems, and organizations remaining reliant on standard processes and technologies for integration, planning becomes a manual and time-consuming process. Consequently, many finance departments end up compromising with static plans that do little to drive the business.

Therefore, the first step in active planning is for teams to integrate systems - ERP, CRM, and HR systems, to name a few - into a single source. The creation of a single source of trusted data that is always fresh and always live means organizations can avoid having to manually recalculate to be sure the numbers are up-to-date or consistent across models.

Active planning
Once this holistic view of data is achieved, finance departments can become more agile by taking an active vs. static approach to planning. Specifically, finance teams must embrace a process that is collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous to adopt an active planning process.

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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
Track 3. DevOps, Containers & Microservices 
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Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!

Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo @ThingsExpo June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.

Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 20th International Cloud Expo June 6-8, 2017 in New York City and October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley.

@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

The upcoming 20th International @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.

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More Stories By Rob Douglas

Robert Douglas is a Vice President at Adaptive Insights, and has been helping companies get more value from their data for over 15 years in the enterprise technology and finance fields.

He is passionate about helping businesses leverage information available from internal systems - from ERPs, CRMs, E-Commerce - through to external sources - websites, social networks - turning data into actionable insight.

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