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FinNext Recap: Three Big Takeaways for FP&A

  • By Bryan Lapidus, FP&A, Director, FP&A Practice
  • Published: 5/8/2019

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FinNext 2019 is on the books but the two-day meeting for FP&A professionals still reverberates in my mind. There were so many great insights by so many people—attendees not just speakers—that I decided to put them all down in one document to collect my thoughts.

Even if you did not attend the conference, I hope you find these helpful. And you can always attend FinNext 2020!

Off we go:

YOU CANNOT ESCAPE YOUR DATA.

  • Advanced tools won’t help you get past bad data, so until you get that right, you will be frustrated.
  • Sometimes you just have to jump in and push forward with the redesign efforts knowing that the data is bad and use that as a way to force a cleanup.
  • Data is a company-wide resource.

THE RESPONSE TO INCREASING DIGITALIZATION IS TO BE MORE HUMAN.

  • Anders Sorman-Nilsson: “The best uses of data can help us elevate ourselves and our work
  • Tricia Wang: “Big data can help you to find a needle in a haystack, but it can’t help you see the tornado coming to blow away the haystack. Breaks in trends are hard for computers, so we layer on ‘thick data.’”
  • Reb Rebele: “We can be more aware of our human needs with data; and respond by stepping away from our tech.”
  • Business partnership is the human side of delivering FP&A services, and it focuses on relationships and interactions.
  • Design thinking places the person at the center with the machines flexible enough to respond to their needs.
  • If data and technology are truly at our service, they will become easier to use; people are not panicking.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR NOT UPSKILLING YOURSELF.

  • Basic tools like Excel are getting more powerful.
  • Specialized tools are getting easier to use.
  • Transformation is happening all around us.
  • If you are unsure of how to start, don’t overthink it. Just start anywhere as a small initiative and adjust as you go.

Connect with Bryan Lapidus, FP&A, on LinkedIn and via email.

The FP&A track at AFP 2019 will feature sessions on digital disruption. Register for the conference here.

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