All Posts Tagged: cash flow

A cash management trend to watch: big data

Eileen Dignen
Cash Management

For many of us, the concept of big data — extremely large sets of structured and unstructured data that may be analyzed by computers to reveal trends — can be intimidating. It’s like trying to detect meaningful patterns in the infinite number of stars on a clear, dark night. But big data is an emerging asset for many of our business clients and will likely grow in effectiveness.

Scene in a coffee shop with a light overlay of numeric sequences.The array of what businesses can do with all the data they collect is amazing, such as predicting buying habits of customers, segmented by age and geography. The data sets also can help with key business applications, particularly in corporate treasuries.

Uses of big data could extend to cash flow forecasting, foreign exchange, and liquidity planning. The data can help corporate teams move beyond the manual aggregation of hundreds of Excel-like templates to view potential cash flows in a more centralized way. And what if the data patterns could help your company make more advantageous decisions about timing payments to certain vendors? The possibilities are appealing.

Harnessing big data for a range of cash management applications may not be widespread yet, but I’ve talked with clients and many peers in the industry who are on board. Some of the available technology allows software programs to learn and update continually and develop their own logic. This necessitates having a treasurer and relevant staff nearby to guide and drive the tools to meaningful conclusions, and it may involve corporate infrastructure changes and executive buy-in, which takes time.

The appetite is growing, nonetheless. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts revenue from the sales of big data and business analytics tools to corporations will increase more than 50% between 2015 and 2019, as reported by InformationWeek.

Some clients of both Bank of the West and BNP Paribas already appreciate the value big data can bring to analyze flows in payment processing and inventory. One example, a leading online fashion platform, uses a dedicated team of mathematicians and physicists developing data analysis models to help with decision-making and boost learning on such variables as the impact of weather on sales.

Another client, a global paint company, is using big data to analyze varying flows in payment processes. It enables the corporate treasury team to identify payments that use the wrong instruments and take action to correct them.

These examples of applying machine learning suggest what’s to come as businesses innovate to make their cash management processes more efficient. It’s an exciting trend to watch!

For more information on this and other innovations, visit the Journeys to Treasury site.

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What mid-market businesses should consider as they expand internationally

Lisa Roach
Posted by Lisa Roach
Mid-size Business Banking
4 workers sitting around table using their laptops next to large window through which nearby skyscrapers are visible.

With your financial partner, start by asking the tough questions up front: Why are you considering an overseas expansion?

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Made Here: Careful financing and customer selection drive growth

Michelle Di Gangi
Small Business Banking
Jeff Lemon, CEO of Foamtec, inside his headquarters building.

Jeff researches his prospective customers carefully, choosing strong distributors who will market his products through social media, Google ads, and other means.

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Made Here: ‘No’ is not an option

Michelle Di Gangi
Small Business Banking
Robert Potts in the Feral Productions shop.

Robert Potts rose from being the part-time delivery guy more than 30 years ago at Feral Productions in Newark, California, to owner.

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Getting the equipment finance basics right for agribusiness

Cam Pittman
Posted by Cam Pittman
Equipment Finance
Tractor traveling through a field with harvest attachment at the rear, under a cloudy sky.

Growers, packers, and processors all require different equipment, and their needs further vary according to their end product.

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