It is not relationship management or service orientation, but the analytical ability of a finance professional that is the most important skill to develop according to a FinTech Barometer from fintech company Onguard. The barometer shows that these new skills must be developed in order to add value in the future.

Almost a third (30%) of CFOs and finance professionals put analytical skills at the top of the list with adaptability (27%) also considered an important skill. Relationship management came in third place (16%), while only 6% cited leadership qualities. In the study, the CFOs surveyed indicated that they consider learning to programme (12%) even more important than the development of service orientation (5%).

Developments in the field of new technologies and the acquisition and storage of data are rapidly advancing, so much so that almost half of finance professionals (43%) expect financial service providers to be transformed into IT companies in ten years’ time. The availability and use of data is important for companies with data playing a role in 93% of organisations. It is not surprising, therefore, that 45% of finance professionals think that big data will have the most influence within the industry. These aspects could explain why CFOs and other finance professionals expect the need for skills development in the future, particularly in the field of analysis.

Marieke Saeij, CTO at Onguard, highlights the importance of these skills: “We are seeing that more and more companies are looking to collaborate with partners to continuously deliver increased value to customers. Through these partnerships, platforms are being created that in turn provide a wealth of extra data, which companies can use to make sound decisions. In addition, it is important for finance professionals who are in contact with clients on a daily basis to be able to analyse this data and, in so doing, provide an extra service. For example, through data, finance professionals can find out the customer’s preferred communication channel and payment method for their invoices. Data analysis by a finance professional therefore creates a lot of added value within organisations.”