What’s next in tech for finance? Data-driven decision making

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10/29/20

Companies that move past spreadsheets are poised for better decision making.


Technology continues to reshape our world and has been accelerated by the pandemic. As you rethink processes for the new environment, you may be asking how technology can help improve efficiency and effectiveness. This podcast is the next episode in the second season of our What’s next? podcast series for CFOs, controllers—anyone in finance. This season we’re focusing on what’s next in tech for the finance professional—discussing the benefits of technology through the lens of the finance function. In this episode, host Heather Horn sits down with Michael Shehab and Michael Baccala, leaders in PwC’s innovation lab, to discuss the significant role that data analytics skills and technologies have on taking businesses to the next level in the decision-making process.

Topics include:

  • 0:53 - We cannot operate without data: Data has always been important, but now more than ever we’re being asked to make decisions in high-stress, high-change environments, making the need for data-driven decisions the key to unlocking true digital transformation. 
  • 6:28 - The data maturity curve: Understanding your data means understanding your business. We discuss the four categories of analytics:
    • 7:10 - Descriptive data
    • 8:13 - Diagnostic data
    • 15:13 - Predictive analytics
    • 16:14 - Prescriptive analytics
  • 19:33 - Think outside the spreadsheet: We discuss the three things that companies and individuals can do to step up their data analytics, starting now.

  • 24:44 - Growing pains: Trying new things can be difficult, but the good news is that you don’t need to be a data scientist to get to the next level. We discuss ways individuals can challenge themselves to experiment with new tools and upskill.
  • 29:30 - What’s exciting about the future?: Data-driven decisions made today will impact market resiliency in the future. We close by reinforcing the opportunities and technologies available to learn how to work with data.

About our guests

Michael Shehab is the leader of PwC Labs and Tax Technology. As part of Michael’s role, he is responsible for leading the firm’s strategy to digitally upskill our people and help our clients redesign and redefine business processes. Michael has spent 23 years listening to clients’ needs and transforming the industry.

Mike Baccala is a PwC Principal with over 27 years of deep audit and technology consulting experience providing Fortune 500 companies with emerging technology, implementing enterprise systems, data analytics, financial audit support, internal controls over financial reporting, internal audit and business transformation program management.

About our host

Heather Horn is PwC's National office thought leader, responsible for developing our communications strategy and conveying firm positions on accounting and financial reporting matters. She is the engaging host of PwC’s accounting and reporting weekly podcast and quarterly webcast series, as well as periodic webcasts for the power and utilities industry. With over 25 years of experience, Heather’s accounting and auditing expertise includes financial instruments and rate-regulated accounting.

All episodes in the series

Contact us

Heather Horn

Heather Horn

US Strategic Thought Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

David Schmid

David Schmid

International Accounting Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

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