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Get Your Mind Out of the Data with Modern Analytics

Strategy   |   Steve Brodrick   |   Jul 30, 2020

It’s hard to make your accounting or finance career dreams come true when you spend half your day gathering, blending, interpreting, and learning to understand your data. And that’s especially true when your data exists in many formats — from spreadsheets to databases to emails.

(By “dreams,” we’re speaking figuratively — we’re not talking about your recurring nightmare where your calculator chases you around a maze until you find a power pellet, which allows you to turn around and eat the calculator.)

Thankfully, there’s a new class of analytics platforms with digital transformation as their endgame that do a lot of that work for you, putting more time back in your day to do high-value tasks that move your firm forward and get you noticed.

The solution is called Analytic Process Automation (APA), and it marks the convergence of analytics, data science, and process automation.

In this article, we’ll look at some benefits of APA and show how they can ultimately have a positive impact on your career.

And while the bigwigs are being wowed by all the oohs and ahhs of APA, it’s never too early to start evangelizing the benefits of automated analytics to your fellow analysts and co-workers. There’s power in numbers — but we don’t have to tell you that. If you need help, use an Alteryx starter kit to get the rest of your team on board.

Start the day off right with accounting and financial insights

Many accounting and finance professionals start their workday off with searching for, putting together, and attempting to understand data.

By the time you’ve got the insights you need to do the thing you were trying to do, you’ve received three more requests from various departments to perform additional tasks.

APA simplifies analytics and data science, using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced technologies to allow accountants and finance professionals to start their days with the insights they need. It also enables you to more easily use data to forecast the future, rather than just report historical trends.

With APA, you can quickly and easily retrieve actionable answers to the questions you now must dig through data to find. And, often, the answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask will be there waiting for you when you need them, allowing you to jump straight into work that helps your firm increase revenue, reduce costs, and find opportunities for growth.

Get faster, more accurate accounting and finance results

To be successful, accounting and finance professionals must complete their work quickly, which is sure to lead to errors.

To be successful, accounting and finance professionals must complete their work without errors, which is sure to be slow.

If the first two sound unfairly contradictory, that’s because they are.

Alteryx APA, on the other hand, creates a single, end-to-end flow of data between departments and teams, avoiding the stopgaps and errors associated with manual handoff. And it enables full transparency and traceability, so any errors that are made can be spotted and corrected long before they result in negative business impacts.

Many organizations are already realizing big gains in accounting and finance through the Alteryx APA Platform:

  • Siemens can now process 50 million rows of financial data in mere minutes.

  • Chick-fil-A reduced time spent processing tax data for 1099-Ks from 10 hours to 10 seconds.
  • Western Union can now derive essential customer insights from its financial data in hours instead of weeks.

Quickly and organically develop skills that today’s accounting and finance pros need

Here’s the worst kept secret in the business world: Employees hate (and, therefore, don’t get much out of) forced training.

Accounting and finance professionals are no exception. Sure, there may be the occasional program you get genuinely excited about. But, most of the time, your top priority is to get through the training as quickly as possible, so you can go back to doing your job.

Using the Alteryx APA Platform allows you to develop essential data and analytics skills naturally — no struggling to stay awake through training videos hosted by z-list actors required. If you are already familiar with using spreadsheets to do things like input data, this will be a breeze for you.

Experience is the best teacher, and Alteryx makes gaining that experience fast and easy. As you click through its intuitive interfaces, you’ll start to understand analytics on a deeper level than mandatory training programs can provide.

Fueled by the thrill of solving problems quickly, you’ll discover tricks, shortcuts, and tips that you’ll want to share with co-workers. In turn, they’ll be sharing their own advice with you. Before long, pervasive learning will organically spread throughout your team and across your organization. You’ll depend less on IT and data specialists, and — often without realizing it — upskill yourself to find and use the insights you need to be more productive and effective at your job.

One of the Big 4 firms (we can’t tell you which one, but we’re betting there’s a 25% chance you can guess it) successfully upskilled 50,000 people using Alteryx APA — across accounting, finance, tax, audit, HR, and client service delivery.

We warned you. You’ve made it to the end of the article, and now all you can think is, “How do I get me some of that sweet, sweet Alteryx APA?!” And with the ability to start your day with essential insights, automate processes so you can work faster and with fewer errors, and easily learn skills that can advance your career, no one can blame you.

Originally published on Going Concern



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