A good friend and partner asked me this question at a recent event. I’ll protect the innocent by not naming them, I won’t even tell you which continent I was on, but what I will say is that it made me chuckle.
It came up as I mentioned I was co-authoring a book on a particular finance topic. I won’t plug it just yet as it’s not finished, and I have to be honest, I probably won’t be rushing to write another one again.
The truth is I do have a background in finance, more so than technology. I was at KPMG and then PwC before I found myself in the software business. And even then it was with a company producing enterprise performance management solutions, aimed at the time primarily for finance, which was eventually acquired by BusinessObjects and subsequently became part of SAP.
So why is this relevant? Well, quite simply I happen to think that I represent the type of user most organizations, including SAP, need to reach. I’m more than comfortable diving for a spreadsheet, more than comfortable looking at numbers (financial or otherwise), and while I may not be a data scientist, part of that finance education included quantitative statistics so I know a bit about the right questions to ask and how to interpret what the numbers are telling me. (Read my earlier blog on this topic). What’s more, the job I do today, irrespective of my finance foundation, is essentially marketing.
So with the growth in enterprise self-service BI and the expanding use of predictive analytics across the business, I’m the perfect example of the type of person that should be using analytics in my job and life, more and more. But you know what? My friend has a point – when I was at KPMG I was a tax consultant. When I told people that they used to grimace. Finance was cooler, but being the analytics guy? Cooler still…thanks for the advice.