Ramy Nassar on a grid background.

3 Reasons Why the Time is Now for Finance to Adopt AI

June 11, 2020 Evan Webster  
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If you’ve been in finance for more than a few years, odds are you’ve heard all about the potential value of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and predictive analytics. You’ve heard that when the conditions are right and the technology is ready, AI promises to uncover hidden insights on your business today and help you plan for a successful tomorrow. 

Has that time come for finance to adopt AI and put its theory into practice? According to Vena’s Rishi Grover and published AI author Ramy Nassar—both thought leaders in the space—the answer is an unequivocal yes. 

Join Rishi and Ramy as they dive into the topic in the CPE-accredited, on-demand video, Demystifying AI, at PlanToGrow.com, a digital learning platform for business leaders and finance and operations professionals. 

As Rishi and Ramy explain, AI and related technologies are ripe for finance adoption for three key reasons:

1. The evolving role of the strategic finance function

It’s hard to read a finance or business publication today without finding a reference to the evolving role of the finance function in modern, agile organizations. If you’re reading this, you already know how strategic finance teams aren’t bookkeepers of yesteryear. They lead your company’s strategic planning efforts, plan for virtually any future scenario and tell the story behind your core financial numbers to plan with confidence for today and tomorrow. 

2. An explosion in company-wide data for finance to analyze

Screenshot of Rishi Grover and Ramy Nassar presenting during Vena Nation 2020.

Today’s strategic finance teams are also tasked with analyzing an ever-increasing volume of data. To tell the story behind your numbers and to get a holistic picture of your business, they need to look not just at financials, but at the larger set of non-financial data from virtually every department in your business. And that larger data set—if it’s not already—is quickly becoming too big for humans to analyze on their own. 

If anything, this explosion of data is a key reason why AI isn’t just ripe for finance adoption, but essential to uncover hidden insights that no individual or team can find on their own.

“AI and machine learning give us the power to uncover signals or patterns buried inside of massive data sets. And we can use those signals to make better, more strategic, more well-timed, forward-looking decisions that are grounded in data insight.” — Ramy Nassar

3. A wealth of readily available tools and resources

For evidence of AI and related tools readily available to today’s strategic office of finance, you need look no further than the world’s favorite business software—Excel. In addition to Google, IBM and others, in recent years, Microsoft has made major and growing investments building AI and ML technologies into Excel and into its data visualization companion, Power BI. 

Excel Ideas, for example, identifies hidden correlations and anomalies in your data to identify what truly drives growth and other changes in your performance metrics. What’s more, Excel Ideas learns from your feedback to provide increasingly valuable insights every time you use it.

“[AI and machine learning] have been around for a very long time. There are lots of companies like Microsoft and others that are creating applications and technologies that are leveraging these underlying models. We don’t need to recreate those.” — Rishi Grover

Join Rishi and Ramy to dive deeper into these trends as they unpack best practices to develop a successful AI strategy—from increasing your organization’s curiosity quotient (CQ) to understanding your data strengths and biases. Learn how AI can help maximize business performance and uncover the (often surprising) factors that drive your business the most. And go one step further to make accurate predictions about the future of your market and business performance. 

“CQ stands for curiosity quotient…and there’s a group of researchers and there are organizations all over the world starting to look at the impact of CQ on the ability to make better strategic decisions.” — Ramy Nassar 

Learn how and why you can make AI work for your finance team today, with key takeaways from Rishi and Ramy including:

  • Diving into the key trends that make AI more valuable to finance today than ever.
  • Knowing the difference between AI and related technologies including ML and deep learning (DL).
  • Understanding how AI can help you distinguish between traditional lagging indicators (FYIs) and data-driven leading indicators (KPIs).
  • Identifying your true business drivers to maximize business performance and other practical AI use cases for the strategic office of finance.
  • Learning about the readily available tools you can use to deploy AI and other emerging technologies today.

Discover why the timing is right to adopt AI in your finance department today. Catch Rishi and Ramy’s AI session on demand at PlantoGrow.com.

Thought Leader Bios

Headshot of Vena CFO Rishi Grover.Rishi Grover: Chief Solutions Architect, Vena Solutions

Rishi focuses on the continuous innovation of Vena’s product offering, delivery and vision, working closely with clients and fellow industry experts. Starting his financial software career in sales engineering, Rishi has since developed a passion for translating AI and other emerging technologies into customer value.


Headshot of Ramy Nassar, author of the AI Product Design Handbook.Ramy Nassar: Digital Expert & AI Author

Ramy is an engineer, designer and maker. He leads digital studio 1000 Days Out to help clients, including Apple and Facebook, align emerging technology with their organizational goals and end-user desires. He is a frequent speaker on emerging technologies and the author of the AI Product Design Handbook.

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