Manjeet Rege and Dan Yarmoluk Podcast

Podcast: All Things Data with Guest Raef Lawson, Ph.D.

In the ever-evolving technology landscape, data analytics and data strategy continue to play a larger role in economics and business models. Director of the Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence at the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Manjeet Rege, co-hosts the "All Things Data" podcast with adjunct professor and Innovation Fellow Dan Yarmoluk. The podcast provides insight into the significance of data science as it relates to business models, business economics and delivery systems. Through informative conversation with leading data scientists, business model experts, technologists and futurists, Rege and Yarmoluk discuss how to utilize, harness, and deploy data science, data-driven strategies, and enable digital transformations.

Rege and Yarmoluk spoke with Raef Lawson about the significance of big data and data analytics in the accounting and finance world. Lawson, Ph.D., CMA, CSCA, CPA, CFA, CAE, is professor-in-residence and vice president of research and policy at IMA. He discusses his research on The Impact of Big Data in Finance Now and in the Future.

Here are some highlights from their conversation:

Q. In finance and accounting, typically the data has always been structured. But one of the characteristics of big data is how unstructured it is, how does that appear in the finance world?

A. Take for example, a finance team that wanted to understand their customers' needs at a deeper level. And in order to do that, they needed to sift through multiple transaction processing platforms and numerous databases to find the data that they needed. And what they did was create a data lake, so the finance team can now, in one place, get all the information they need to get a real detailed understanding of their customers' needs. So that is a real life example of how finance is using big data to make their organizations more effective and increase the value of their organizations. 

Q. In the past, big data systems were not big on security, but in financial systems security is a big deal. So when you see big data being used in accounting and finance, do you see that lack of security?

A. Absolutely. There is a whole slew of security and ethical considerations that we need to face and need to address. Finance professionals, traditionally, have been very proficient at pulling data from different sources and reading insight from that data. I think that is a core competency that we can build on. Having data security, and having rules around data governance, these are all components of our core competency. So we can work with IT and data scientists to ensure that the data of an organization is secure and can be delivered in a way that gives the organization value. 

Listen to the full conversation below: