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How To Supercharge Productivity in FP&A With Vena Copilot

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Imagine this. You’re busy preparing financial forecasts or planning out the next quarter’s expenses. As an FP&A professional, there’s no shortage of work to be done and you have deadlines to keep up with.  

You’re on track to meet those deadlines, too, when an urgent request comes in. A C-suite executive needs an answer relating to your business’s performance. Maybe the CEO wants to see your organization’s year-over-year revenue growth rate for Q1, broken down by business unit. Or the COO wants to explore multiple supply chain scenarios after critical delays. 

Sound familiar? As part of the FP&A team, you’ve likely experienced exactly this, or at least something close. And those questions can’t be ignored—your executive stakeholders need the answers as fast as possible to help navigate today’s dynamic market conditions and guide their decision-making.  

The work you’re doing is critical as well, however, leaving you torn in both directions. 

But what if that doesn’t have to be the case? 

Vena Copilot, our new generative AI assistant, gives FP&A teams a way to maximize their productivity while still getting insights into the hands of stakeholders quickly. It’s especially built for FP&A teams but can be powerful in broader business users’ hands as well.  

Drawing on advanced AI models driven by your organizational data, Vena Copilot acts as a complete planning AI assistant, quickly answering complex questions from across the business. And that’s just the start. 

 

 

Key Takeaways 

  • Vena Copilot is Vena’s new generative AI solution, combining the power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service advanced AI models with Vena’s central analytical data model, CubeFLEX™.
  • Designed to be used by FP&A teams and business users alike, Vena Copilot lets you create personalized AI models and train them to meet your customized business needs.
  • Users can access Vena Copilot from anywhere in the Vena application and get full transparency, visibility and control into where their results came from.
  • Using Vena Copilot’s generative AI for finance, FP&A teams can explore complex business questions quickly and put analytics in the hands of anyone across the business.  

Bringing Generative AI to FP&A 

Data shows that AI can drastically improve the productivity of teams across a business—from customer service to IT. In fact, according to a November 2023 report from IDC, 71% of companies see returns on their AI investments within 14 months. Another study found that generative AI tools increased the throughput of business users by 66%. 

FP&A can reap those rewards as well—using recent advancements in generative AI to eliminate common blockers to productivity like time spent gathering data. AI can be applied across FP&A, offering expanded forecasting and analytics capabilities.  

And it’s a move that couldn’t come at a better time. “With the evolution of AI in Finance, FP&A teams are becoming more forward-looking,” writes Akhilesh Vvvd, Analyst at Quadrant Knowledge Solutions. 

“It signifies a shift towards more insightful, data-driven decision-making, with technologies like machine learning, predictive analytics, and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), ultimately reshaping strategic planning by delivering deeper insights into the organization,” he adds. 

And yet, finance has traditionally been reluctant to embrace AI, understanding that it comes with risks. That’s why partnering with a solution provider you can trust, with proven technology and ingrained security and governance protocols, is key. 

Vena Copilot offers exactly that, combining the power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service advanced AI models—including GPT-4—with Vena’s central analytical data model, CubeFLEX™. Vena Copilot is enterprise-ready, with industry-leading generative AI security, compliance and privacy capabilities to ensure your business is using AI responsibly. 

What Is Vena Copilot? 

Featuring an intuitive conversational interface, Vena Copilot lets you use simple chat prompts to interrogate your existing organizational data within Vena to accomplish tasks in minutes that previously would have taken hours. Tasks like gathering data, generating reports, analyzing trends, optimizing forecasts, answering complex business questions and more. 

Even better, it’s easy to set up without the need for IT, data scientists or AI engineers.  

By creating and training your own AI models tailored to your business’s unique needs, you build a flexible complete planning AI assistant that’s specifically geared to your requirements. We designed Vena Copilot to be flexible across business needs, even outside of finance. That means Vena Copilot can be applied to operational data unique to your business and examine different metrics and use cases across it. 

Vena Copilot can also be used by anyone in your organization, not just FP&A—letting each line of business draw their own insights when and where they need them. 

This improves analysis business-wide and empowers anyone in the company to work with your financial and operational data.  

How To Maximize Your Productivity With Vena Copilot 

Generative AI has the power to help organizations do more with less. And Vena Copilot does exactly that, effectively extending your FP&A team’s capacity by taking over many of your team’s routine jobs and empowering stakeholders across the business with self-serve data insights. 

Here’s how to get started with Vena Copilot to accelerate your decision making: 

1. Create Personalized AI Models 

When first launching Vena Copilot, you can easily onboard yourself, then build your own AI model—or multiple AI models if you choose. Your own company data, which resides in Vena, will be informing those models, so you can take confidence that the results you receive are based in your own business context. 

2. Customize Your AI Output 

While Vena Copilot is already trained on a robust set of questions specific to FP&A, you can customize its output by applying your own personalized training. Train your Vena AI model with typical questions you and other stakeholders within your business would ask it. 

3. Engage Anywhere, Everywhere 

If you have a Vena license you can engage with Vena Copilot’s chat interface, wherever you sit as a Vena user (for instance, whether you’re a modeler or a contributor). That way, you can ask for assistance no matter what you’re working on and what part of the business you work in. 

4. Let It Know What’s Helpful (and What’s Not) 

Vena Copilot allows you to interrogate your data through natural language prompts—and ask follow-up questions to find out more. You can also give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to indicate whether the answer is helpful, to train the model on your preferences.  

5. Engage Deeper with the Data When You Choose 

If you want to get a fuller look at the data that Vena Copilot queried, just click on ‘Download Report’ at any time for full transparency. You can then engage with that data in Excel—even using Microsoft Copilot to investigate and manipulate the data further—or copy the response to add to your decks, send to a colleague or anything you want. 

6. Get Full Visibility and Control  

You have full visibility and control over what’s informing your Vena AI model at all times—further building transparency into the answers it provides you. 

What This Means for FP&A Teams 

Vena Copilot empowers FP&A teams to do more with less, saving you time while allowing you to continue being an effective business partner to the rest of the organization. But it does more than that, too. As your copilot for FP&A, it enables your team to: 

Explore More Complex Scenarios 

With its capacity to dig deeper into large pools of data faster, Vena Copilot allows your FP&A team to explore more complex scenarios than you’ve been able to before.  

Its generative AI capabilities purpose-built for finance lets you get ahead of potentially disruptive market headwinds by testing out more what-if statements quicker, to stay agile to whatever’s happening in the industry around you. 

Put Analytics in the Hands of Business Users 

Vena Copilot extends the reach of Vena across all departments—not just FP&A. In fact, when you have Vena Copilot, anyone with a Vena license can easily access its benefits.  

That means you empower business users to answer their own finance and business performance questions and dig deeper into the data stored within Vena. This lets other teams get their answers faster, while freeing up your finance team’s time to focus on your own priorities. 

An Assistant for the Whole Business 

FP&A teams have a lot on their plates. No AI solution is going to take on all of it—and nor do you want it to. Your finance professionals are valuable assets to your organizational growth goals, providing high-value strategic work. Why not give them every opportunity to deliver on their full potential? 

“Vena Copilot represents a significant advancement in the field of financial planning and analysis (FP&A), harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to drive efficiency, accuracy, and innovation,” says Akhilesh. “By automating routine tasks, streamlining processes, and providing advanced analytics capabilities, Vena Copilot empowers FP&A teams to deliver greater value and insights to their organizations.” 

Want to see Vena Copilot in action? Watch our product announcement from Excelerate Finance 2024 on demand

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