We spoke to Enric Aguiló, Head of Accounting Analytics, Projects & GPO Excellence at Bayer, whose Data Analytics department is driving the transformation of the company's financial organisation.
Data analytics tools are essential in your everyday work. Can you tell us what the role and goal of this digital department is?
A data analytics expert codes the useful information to share it simply and intuitively.
Any computer system generates a lot of data, and not only that but also a lot more than we can process. In the Data Analytics department, our key tasks are to find the most efficient way to prise the useful information out of this ball of data and how to code it, and then present it simply and intuitively to the people who will make significant decisions based on it.
How do you apply data analytics and answer the questions which come up in your financial management?
The data analytics process runs from the most general to the most detailed data to deliver reliable global strategic analysis which provides conclusions.
To do this, it is important to grasp the process of creating the information we handle. Let’s imagine that the data make up a large forest and that our project consists of exploring it to find a particular tree; if we want to be efficient, we will not charge inside and catalogue every leaf we see, because this approach would give us a limited picture of the entire forest. We need to observe it from the skies to comprehend its scale and understand where we are. What in our professional language we call scoping the information. This is why we always work first with the big picture, with panoramic photography; and once we have got it, we go deeper into every nook and cranny of the woods.
What is the biggest challenge you have to tackle in taking the big picture of this forest of millions of data?
Our Data Analytics team is transforming the accounting processes of the group’s companies. Bayer brings together a large number of companies which means that there are many different working models. The greatest challenge is to gather all the information and translate it into the same language of analysis. The time we invest at the beginning will save time and costs at the end of the project.
How do you think data analytics management will evolve in the future to become a standout value for businesses?
Data analytics will help us to better forecast the future. If we were mountaineers, the interesting thing would be to enhance our ability to predict where the rocks blocking our path will be so as to change our route in time, be more competitive and get to the top first. In a highly competitive market, success lies in thinking ahead and being proactive.
To conclude, what would you recommend to new professionals who will be part of the data analytics talent in the companies of the future?
Growing professionally in data analytics is a very smart career decision. Business digitalisation is an unstoppable revolution and digital profiles will be its growth driver. To work in data analytics you have to be curious yet also methodical and organised: painting the big picture we were talking about is complex. But what makes a good data analytics expert truly exceptional is in fact their talent for turning complexity into knowledge which is available to everyone.