Microsoft rallies finance leaders to embrace future

Friday, 21 April 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

02Microsoft held a symposium for C-level finance executives at Cinnamon Grand Colombo, recently. The event—which featured keynote speakers and a live demo—revealed how Microsoft Power BI, an interactive data visualiser that utilises predictive-analytics and machine learning, could help CFOs and their finance teams grapple the future. 

“From cloud computing and robotics to analytics and automation, a new class of digital disruptors is transforming how business gets done,” said Tharshini Perera, Group Finance Manager, Microsoft. “At Microsoft, we’re expecting these disruptors to have a big impact on the way Sri Lankan finance will progress. Therefore, we find it important to create this two-way dialogue now to help our partners achieve more.”  

Corporations that thrive in this rapidly changing world contrast greatly to the organisations that once dominated the early 1990s. Today, finance leaders give businesses a new competitive edge, and are responsible for delivering business insights across their organisations. Furthermore, the drive toward efficiency will demand more from CFOs and their teams.

Vikram Bakhshi, Senior Finance Director for the Asia Pacific Region, tied Microsoft’s mission to engage and empower people to optimise and transform operations. “Financial departments across many industries are undergoing unprecedented disruption. Technologies like predictive analytics and machine learning are entering the finance mainstream, allowing finance teams to contribute to the business conversation with real-time data driven insights,” he said.

Conducting a demo on Microsoft’s Power BI tool, Gael McLennan, Finance Director Microsoft South East Asia said, “Data is pervasive and action is elusive. The Power BI dashboard is a cloud-based business analytics service built for non-technical users. With just a browser—any browser—or a Power BI mobile app, finance workers can keep tabs on their business through live operational dashboards. It just takes a moment to load up a dashboard and start interacting with your data.” 

Using data-driven insights to help make quick and more informed decisions is increasingly important; Power BI can help finance teams deeply explore their business data with interactive visual reports that drill down into their most important information—and enrich it with additional data sources. 

Reports are built on datasets, while visuals can be pinned to dashboards. In turn, these dashboard visuals are linked back to the reports. The software incorporates predictive-analytics, machine learning, and a view related content feature provides a quick and efficient way to view and jump between those connections. The interface is uncomplicated and constructing a sample dashboard takes little over five minutes.

The event concluded with an interactive session for the CFOs and wider audience, initiating a conversation over the benefits Power BI dashboards have across multiple industries to how CFOs can prepare themselves given the future of data-analytics.