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Harnessing the Potential of Generative AI in Finance

If you are in the business world and conversant with technological speak, you must have heard about generative AI; it is quite literally all the buzz right now. Businesses and individuals alike have realized the importance of leveraging AI to work smarter.

However, it is one thing to know about the prevalent technology and another thing to understand its application. If you don’t know how to properly apply generative AI to drive profitability in your business, you may be short-changing yourself in today’s world.

This is why this blog post is here. We hope to share with you ways to harness the potential of generative AI; including use cases and how vital partnership is in generating insight from AI. By the end of the post, you’d have a clearer understanding of generative AI and how to apply it to take your business where it needs to be.

What is Generative AI?


Generative AI or generative artificial intelligence is a type of technology that supports generating different types of content in response to prompts.

Generative AI responds to prompts; so, it can generate a plethora of content. Therefore, it is really up to you what you want to use the technology for. Do you simply want it to generate poems to communicate how much you love your wife? Or do you need it for other informal content?

Now, this is not to say you cannot do the above, if need be, but it’d be rather unfortunate if that’s all you use the AI for when you can harness its immense potential for business applications. Many organizations are leveraging the power of AI algorithms to generate content and uncover previously inaccessible insights; you should not be left behind.

As you probably already know, one of the biggest mistakes these days is to be far behind the trends your competitors have embraced. This is why you need to join the conversation, and reading this post is a good start, as our discussion will revolve around how generative AI can be integrated into different business areas and deliver significant value.

Practical Use Cases of Generative AI


Generative AI is only useful to the measure that it can fit into an organization’s processes and transform the business. So, it is important that we identify practical use cases of generative AI.

One thing we need to understand is that generative AI is useful across the board. That means it is not just technology for your digital marketing department to get copies or advert ideas. This is because, most often than not, you find that the marketing and sales departments are usually the first to embrace new technology, especially when it has to do with content.

The finance department - which we are more focused on - tends to lag behind other departments in embracing new technology. This should not be so, as generative AI has so much potential to help you execute your duties as a CFO or finance professional.

Having said that, some specific examples where generative AI can provide substantial value to the finance department include:

  • Uncovering unbiased insights from historical data to drive profitability and growth

  • Uncovering unforeseen revenue streams

  • Assisting with financial reporting and analytics

  • Offering recommendations for efficiently closing the books


Automating Low-Value Activities


Technology is mainly there to help us work smarter and not harder; its job is to make our work easier. True to its nature, therefore, the major goal of generative AI across all functional areas is to free us up from low-value activities.

With all the challenges facing businesses today, from the economy and inflation to supply chain problems, companies should seek to do more with less, which is an opportunity generative AI offers.

Automation and accuracy are particularly key in driving efficiency within finance departments. So, with generative AI, you can automate non-value-added tasks, such as repetitive data analysis, and focus on higher-value activities. That way, you can allocate more time to strategic decision-making and improve accuracy in forecasting.

The Role of Data Scientists in Leveraging Generative AI


Generative AI pushes the need for more collaborations in the business world versus working in silos. So, businesses must prioritize collaborations. And in the case of finance professionals, there is a need to work closely with data scientists.

Think about it, data scientists work with a lot of data, some of which are generated through AI. Their job is to interact with data and understand it. Finance professionals, on the other hand, need to understand data from generative AI. So, it calls to reason that finance teams seek to work closely with data scientists to better understand complex algorithms.

Collaborating with data scientists can help finance professionals employ generative AI techniques to drive more accurate, prescriptive, and automated processes. This collaboration between finance and data science teams becomes crucial in ensuring successful implementation and deriving maximum value from generative AI.

Scaling and Modernizing Finance Functions


There is a tendency to see technology as the enemy when we shouldn’t. Technology should be embraced as a way to make work easier and not as an enemy to be fought. This is why the CFO should see generative AI in a complementary capacity, especially in high-growth finance organizations.

This is particularly important with the increasing pressure to achieve more with limited resources. The CFO should see generative AI as an opportunity to scale operations effectively. Consider how beneficial it is in automating tasks, enhancing work-life balance, and keeping you motivated. Moreover, the technology attracts young professionals who seek more engaging and modern approaches to their work.

Collaboration and Partnership in Using Generative AI


The importance of collaboration and partnership across functional areas within an organization cannot be overemphasized. As mentioned earlier, generative AI thrives with collaboration in a business environment. So, the success of generative AI relies on sharing data and information across departments.

The different departments should embrace effective communication and ask the right questions, as they enable teams to extract valuable insights from generative AI models. The partnership between departments, such as sales, marketing, HR, operations, and finance, is essential for leveraging generative AI to its full potential.

Conclusion


Generative AI presents an exciting opportunity for organizations to unlock new levels of efficiency, accuracy, and growth across various business functions. This technology can transform operations, automate low-value activities, and foster collaboration among departments. So, embrace it to help you work smarter and position your business ahead.

To learn more on this topic, check out my discussion with David Pereles, Managing Director at Accenture, and Tom Chelednik, SVP, Head of Solution Management for Data Management, Planning & Analysis at SAP in this YouTube video.