Analytical and programming skills are considered key ingredients for successful financial professionals, according to findings from the latest FinTech Barometer by fintech Visma | Onguard.
The barometer reveals that 42 per cent of financial professionals believe having analytical skills will be a key requirement to fulfil their roles in the future. This is followed by programming skills (37 per cent) and leadership qualities (34 per cent).
Almost half of those surveyed (47 per cent) by Visma | Onguard – the fintech company that focuses on the order-to-cash process – expect artificial intelligence to have the greatest impact on their sector in the near future, closely followed by big data (44 per cent).
The research also highlighted that more than half of financial professionals hope that their organisation will become fully data-driven within the next three years, further evidencing why analytical ability is expected to be so sought-after.
“The advent of big data and technologies, such as intelligent automation, robotic process automation and AI, means that finance professionals no longer need to be burdened by manual and repetitive tasks,” says Marieke Saeij, CEO at Visma | Onguard. “Instead, there is an opportunity for these individuals to shift their focus to more value-adding tasks and gain the skills they need to take on a more analytical function.”
“This will enable them to edge closer to becoming a fully data-driven organisation and allow individuals to take a truly proactive approach to key initiatives, whether that’s emerging trends in the market or enhancing the customer experience. This will automatically lead to better business results.”
Becoming more responsive to market trends and developments is cited as the main goal of data-driven initiatives by 23 per cent of respondents. Other drivers include improving customer experience (22 per cent), boosting service or product offerings (16 per cent) and cutting costs (14 per cent).
The biggest challenge is revealed to be combining and gaining optimum value from data due to having various internal and external data sources, cited by 41 per cent of finance professionals. In addition, two-thirds of financial professionals say they lack the right technology to make data optimally available, while more than a quarter lack expertise in data processes and analysis.