This problem of data integration is more profound for finance professionals because presenting the right numbers is critical for the bottom line of companies. Also, financial information is consumed by many different groups such as personal investors who are looking to get good value for their money, government regulators who are looking to investigate a fraud and business executives who are always looking to gain a competitive advantage over other companies. All this means, financial professionals are constantly working their way through heaps of data that is becoming more and more complex and distributed.
Below are some difficulties pertaining to data integration faced by finance professionals today.
1. Real-time Data Integration
The integration of data in real-time brings in a whole new perspective to data analysis. Data is no longer moved from one place to another for analysis, rather data changes and analysis happen while the data is being moved from one place to another. This means financial professionals have to be on their toes always to stay on top of the data changes in real-time. Talk to us if you'd like to discuss real-time financial data integration.
2. Ever-growing Volume of Data
The volume of data is growing at a staggering rate every second. It is estimated that most enterprises today have gone past a petabyte (2 to the power of 50 bytes) in size and this means, the existing data integration software is unable to meet this high load. Moreover, finance professionals have to deal with such vast amounts of data for their everyday activities which can be mind-boggling, to say the least!
3. Growing Popularity of Cloud-based Systems
Cloud-based systems have become an integral part of every company's IT infrastructure today. This means data and computing have become highly distributed and it is up to the finance professional to know where to look for specific data. Also, the existence of cloud-based and traditional systems side by side makes it more difficult for professionals to manage data.
4. Increasing Data Complexity and Formats
Data is coming from a variety of sources and in different formats. This makes it difficult for finance professionals to gather all the data and put them together in a common format before beginning an analysis of it.
5. Big Data Systems
Big data systems are being used by almost all major companies because of the potential benefits that come from it. However, these systems are not easy to use and require the knowledge of data scientists who can mine its structured and unstructured data. Unfortunately, many companies do not have data scientists which means finance professionals are forced to double up as data scientists to complete their tasks.
6. Changing Security Requirements
Security and data governance play an important role in data integration, as more resources are moved to private and public clouds. Since these systems operate out of the established data integration system, there is a need to come up with better security approaches such as identity management. This security issue becomes all the more important when it comes to a company's financial numbers.
In short, the role of today's financial professionals go way beyond book balancing and tax paying. They are forced to deal with an enormous amount of data and the integration challenges that come with it. As a result, they are stressed and overworked all the time. One possible solution is to use a good financial system that can take some burden off the shoulders of these professionals.