ANZ transforms BI in its finance function

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ANZ transforms BI in its finance function

Chases improvements for 6500 users.

ANZ is transforming the way its finance function presents data back to about 6500 users across the banking group.

The finance function, which has about 900 staff, including a “dedicated systems team of 90”, said recently that it is using Qlik software to “transform the way finance operates”.

“We want to improve the access to and presentation of information,” business intelligence lead Rebecca Kennedy wrote on Upshot, a customer ‘storytelling’ platform used by several vendors.

“These improvements will ultimately help us to better navigate data and make better decisions faster.”

Kennedy said in a separate video that the finance function oversees “financial control, regulatory reporting, forecasting, planning, analytics and insights, and works with the business to help them identify risks and opportunities and achieve their strategic objectives.”

She said most of the data related to these domains is now surfaced and consumed in Qlik ‘apps’, being the foundational units for presenting data in Qlik’s software.

“We have about 40 different reporting applications that we use with Qlik and this reaches about 6500 users,” she said. 

“These users could be from relationship managers managing a client portfolio for institutional customers right up to our executive committee.”

Kennedy said that some of the presentation changes were only fairly recent.

“Up to a few months ago, our most senior leaders were still consuming their repeatable financial information via emails and PowerPoint,” she wrote.

“They also continued to manually prepare and manage thousands of Excel spreadsheets.”

Kennedy said the use of Qlik is also aimed at reducing the time analysts spent “sourcing, joining, cleaning, and validating data”.

“While these steps are necessary, they take away from the time to analyse, communicate, and influence decision making,” she said.

ANZ had “many different systems feeding into the general ledger before they were consolidated into Hyperion as the finance source of truth”.

“Qlik has features that speed up the process of exposing the data lineage,” she said.

“We are able to quickly discover where the data was sourced and how it reconciles to Hyperion. 

“This provides immediate trust in the data and cuts down validation time.”

Kennedy said that while ANZ finance is “still on its BI journey”, that it is “confident that [it is] making some strong steps in the right direction.”

She also added that the bank is “watching fields like AI natural language generation, chatbots, predictive analysis, and automated forecasting” with interest as potential future augmentations.

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