Finance Data Scientists Crucial to Successful Enterprise –Expert
The 21st Century finance professionals would have to become professional finance data scientists, if they must remain relevant in a very fast, competitive and evolving business world. This was the thrust of a presentation made by the Manager in the Risk Assurance Practice of PricewatershouseCooper Nigeria (PwC), Mr. Tokunbo Oyeneyin, on Wednesday, January 19, 2017, at the 10th Town and Gown seminar series of the Department of Accounting, Covenant University.
Mr. Oyeneyin, who was Guest Speaker at the seminar, said in his presentation titled, ‘Data Analytics and the 21st Century Finance Professional’, that the world has a shortfall of over 1.5 million data scientists.
Data scientists, he explained, are crucial to any organization mounting effective competition in the market place, or developing capacity to survive disruption during harsh economic climate. They also help project new market, customers’ preferences, trends, consumers buying power and develop global presence without physical presence in distant locations.
According to him, it is expected that the 21st century finance professional would move away from his traditional functions of back office responsibilities, procedural workforces and support functions to the evolving trends of serving as a business adviser and strategic consultant for decision making, such as going into a new market.
Mr. Oyeneyin, who has over 15 years’ experience and impact in data analytics, noted that the world needs finance professionals who can serve as business managers with strong understanding of key performance index of businesses, and be commercially focused in the battle for customers’ attention and retention.
The guest speaker advised participants to work at combining the skill set of a data scientist and finance professionals, if they desire to keep their organization afloat and flourishing in the present competitive world. “Ability to harness these skills together will greatly assist the 21st century finance professionals in their ability to describe, diagnose, predict and prescribe analytically for their corporation,” he added.
Earlier in her welcome remarks, the Head, Department of Accounting, Dr. (Mrs.) Olubukola Uwuigbe, stated that, across different fields of endeavour, managing and making sense of voluminous data was becoming a matter of interest and concern, and raised a poser on how could one handle data without a grasp of analytical skills.
Dr. Uwuigbe said that study has shown that many organisations don’t have accountants with analytical skill set, and bringing Mr. Tokunbo Oyeneyin to the Town and Gown seminar was simply to avail the students of Accounting Department the best industry experience in the subject matter of data analytics.
The ‘Town and Gown’ seminar, which was the first to be hosted by the Department of Accounting in the Omega (second) Semester 2016/2017 academic session, evoked enthusiasm from the students, as reflected in the robust engagement and interaction that ensued at the end of the presentation.