‘The entire idea of automation and machine learning is to lessen the burden on put-upon staff and free up more of their time – not add to it’ Ben Rossi Businesses in all shapes and sizes are constantly searching for more insight into their health. As technology and services have evolved over time, so too has the sheer amount of different ways businesses have looked for this all-important knowledge.

SwissCognitiveBut with great data comes great responsibility. Financial staff are starting to drown in the need to capture as many points of information as possible. From expenses to invoicing, business travel to supplier relationships, the amount of data being recorded is ever-expanding. It’s not just limited to finances: it affects just about every business process, including HR, productivity and insurance. The problem with having so much reporting is that the corresponding analysis grows in parallel. Another report, another 20 minutes needs to be set aside to analyse what the data displays. For busy finance staff looking to make a tangible difference to their organisation, they simply don’t have time.

Handling the sheer amount of data

The challenge that companies need to tackle is how to stop those using their products and reports being blinded by the volume presented to them. It’s all well and good having a million data points to analyse, but even with a modern set of intelligent business tools, the emphasis needs to be on actionable insights; a ‘look here’ approach. Many businesses can feel that by purchasing and installing a machine learning or artificial intelligence-based solution that they will be able to quickly get through the data available and clearly see what needs to change within their organisation. Instead, this often leaves them as in the dark as they previously were, albeit with ten times the data to sift through.

Human and machine in tandem

This is where the idea of consultative intelligence comes into its own. Put simply, the term refers to the use of technology being supplemented with the guidance of a dedicated expert, and more often than not the customising of what is being captured. By combining the sheer power of an advanced data reporting tool with the analytical experience of someone who helped develop it, consultative intelligence can steer businesses towards actionable insights far faster than if they were simply left to their own devices. […]