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OneStream Splash EMEA: Finance at Speed with ML and Mika Häkkinen

OneStream's Splash conferences offer Finance teams a unique opportunity to think bigger. To step back from the daily grind and focus on unleashing the true value of Finance. How? By learning directly from OneStream customers, from industry experts and from each other, of course.

And though we couldn’t all celebrate in Paris this year, OneStream will always find a way to deliver for our customers – 100% customer success is our mission, after all. That’s why we were thrilled to kick off the OneStream Splash EMEA Virtual Mini-Series September 21 – 24th.

Moderated by Matt Rodgers, Managing Director of EMEA, the keynote featured OneStream CEO Tom Shea and our very special guest, Formula One racing world champion Mika Häkkinen.

Read on for the highlights from our keynote session.

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Navigating Disruption with Confidence

Mr. Rodgers kicked off the session with a review of our accomplishments since the OneStream Splash Madrid conference a year ago (see Figure 1). And despite the global disruption from COVID-19, OneStream achieved 50% growth in revenue and customers since last year, totaling more than 550 as of September 2020. We also grew our partner network to over 140 partners and expanded offices in London, Manchester, Stockholm and Paris.

And given our mission to deliver 100% customer success, we couldn’t be prouder of the industry recognition we’re receiving based mainly on the feedback from our customers. Here are just a few recent industry accolades:

  • Capture-Sep-29-2020-03-07-27-34-PMLeader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close Solutions
  • Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice in both Cloud Financial Close and Cloud FP&A
  • 38 top rankings out of 60 categories in BARC’s Planning Survey 20, including near-perfect 97% scores

As Mr. Rodgers shared, direct feedback from the OneStream community shapes our growth strategy and innovation roadmap for our platform and XF MarketPlace solutions.

Unleashing Finance with Continuous Innovation

OneStream CEO Tom Shea then discussed the evolution of the OneStream XF platform (see Figure 2). He noted how OneStream is designed with the scalability and financial intelligence needed to continually address the constant pace of change and demands on the Office of Finance.

And our platform does so via a single solution that never forces Finance teams to compromise on performance or purchase additional point solutions.

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According to Mr. Shea, a new inflection point is now arising for Finance leaders. And if you consider that only 14% of Finance teams consider their own analytic efforts insightful, according to FSN’s 2020 survey, that inflection point is fast approaching.

While producing the book of record financial results and forward-looking plans and forecasts is still important, market disruptions such as COVID-19 are forcing Finance teams to know what’s happening in the business based on the weekly, and even daily, financial & operational data. This data enables Finance leaders to proactively make decisions that impact future results.

Financial signaling is what we call this collection and integration of financial and operational data for analysis.

Identifying Financial Signals in Daily & Weekly Data

Capture-Sep-29-2020-03-12-14-99-PMFinancial Signaling (see Figure 3) enables Finance teams to leverage the financial intelligence that’s core for their monthly financial processes – such as accounts, hierarchies, dimensionality, and currency – and then blend it with higher velocity financial transactions and operational data from multiple sources.

Finance teams can begin to analyze these signals on a weekly or even daily basis to compare how their key metrics and KPIs are pacing vs. their forecasts and run rates for the month. And importantly, Finance teams can work with their business partners to propose actions ahead of month end to continually drive performance.

Intelligent Planning with Predictive Analytics & Machine Learning (ML)

Capture-Sep-29-2020-03-15-03-69-PMMr. Shea then presented a glimpse into OneStream’s predictive analytics and ML strategy (see Figure 4). Why all the interest?

Well, Finance and Operational leaders are looking to supplement their planning processes with statistically significant predictive forecasts in order to compare against business forecasts that may be biased by the fog of uncertainty.

And that’s exactly why OneStream is dedicated to providing Finance leaders with intuitive ways to take advantage of predictive analytics and machine learning, no matter where leaders are in their advanced analytics journey.

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Here are the three components of our advanced analytics strategy:

  • Built-In Predictive Analytics – OneStream’s built-in Predictive Analytics solution provides end users with the power to predict future performance based on applying predictive algorithms to historical data. With predictive analytics, users execute seasonal trend models right from the same interface they already use for planning, forecasting and reporting.  
  • ML 1-2-3 (see Figure 5) – ML-1-2-3 will provide powerful and seamless integration with data scientist projects and link that back into core Finance processes.
    • Step 1: Leverages our advanced data preparation engine to assist with feature engineering, such as incorporating gas prices, weather patterns and the impact of holidays.
    • Step 2: Integrates data from Step 1 with OneStream’s ability to integrate with third­-party ML platforms to allow Data Science teams to use their tools of choice. For example, Figure 4 illustrates OneStream’s integration with Azure ML.
    • Step 3: Integrates the output from the ML models back into OneStream users’ workflows, enabling data scientists to deliver ML models directly into the planning and reporting process.
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  • Sensible ML – OneStream is currently developing a guided ML experience that will give Finance teams the power to leverage ML models without data scientists. This solution will take users through a step-by-step process for each part of the ML model-building and deployment process, including feature engineering through advanced algorithm configuration, training and deployment.

Just like ML 1-2-3, Sensible ML is being designed to enable Finance teams to…

  • Focus on collaborating with their business partners,
  • Find new ways to ask why, and
  • Extend the dialogue with business partners to continually drive performance.

Both solutions are currently planned for delivery in FY2021.  

Leading @ Speed with Formula One Champion Mika Häkkinen

Mika Hakkinen-1Leading at speed to drive performance was a key theme for Mr. Shea’s keynote presentation. That’s why we were honored to conclude the session by sitting down with somebody who knows what driving at peak performance is all about – Formula One (F1) champion Mika Häkkinen

Mr. Shea and Mr. Häkkinen discussed a number of topics that should resonate for Finance teams. Here are a few of the key takeaways:

  • Self-reflect, leverage your team and communicate to win – Häkkinen described all three attributes as critical elements of achieving two world championships. Notably, achieving peak performance requires more than just raw talent. F1 racers, like successful Finance leaders, must be willing to take constructive feedback, learn to trust their team and continually find ways to communicate effectively.
  • Understand the “why” behind the signals – Häkkinen shared details about experiences from his Formula Three days where he was first introduced to the vast analytics involved in racing. While he was impressed with the sheer volume of data on his teammates, track performance and more, just having access to data was not enough. He had to study the detailed drivers that comprise each KPI and assess what specific actions he could take to impact performance. Leading at speed requires a similar mindset for the Office of Finance.

Always prepare for uncertainty – Mr. Häkkinen and Mr. Shea discussed the 2001 Spanish Grand Prix where Mr. Häkkinen’s car experienced a technical failure preventing him from finishing the race. Mika shared that, despite leading most of the race, he was “taking it easy” to protect his car. While reflecting on this painful memory, he reinforced the need to “never let up” and “always prepare for the unexpected.”

Finance Lead at Speed

 

Mr. Shea’s and Mr. Häkkinen’s discussion encapsulates what many Finance teams are feeling. We have no option but to lead at speed.

What processes Finance teams choose to implement, such as rolling forecasting or scenario planning, are always going to be a question of which approach works best for their respective organizations. But what Mr. Shea and Mr. Häkkinen also make clear – especially in light of the pandemic – is that how Finance leads has the unlimited potential to help enable our people and organizations achieve peak performance.

Now that’s Finance unleashed.

Learn More

To learn more about our upcoming product innovations or hear directly from Mika Häkkinen, watch the full replay of the OneStream Splash EMEA keynote session here.


Watch the Splash EMEA Keynote

Scott Stern

Scott Stern is Director of Product Marketing at OneStream Software. With a background in corporate finance and FP&A, Scott has over 15 years of experience leading and transforming finance groups for enterprise businesses, including experience with MetLife, Catalina Marketing, Masonite International, and as an operating executive within HIG Capital portfolio businesses. Most recently, Scott was Sr. Director of Sales Effectiveness and Strategic Alliances for Prevedere, a leading provider of predictive analytics software.