CFO Services' 10 most popular Blog posts of 2018

The TriFinance blog offers quick, personal and pragmatic takes on pressing matters. That's why this year's most-read piece zooms in on GDPR impacting Credit Departments. Another piece on GDPR was published earlier in Flemish daily De Standaard as an op-ed piece, discussing the legitimacy under GDPR of the federal government's plan to sell patient data.

But our expert bloggers also offer pragmatic advice. That's why last year's nr 1 piece '5 ways how internal audit can further your career', is back again this year as a runner-up. We also name 4 reasons why DataViz can enhance decision making, 7 advantages of transparent process management and 4 tips to boost your impact as a finance business partner. Apart from that, our CFO Services' bloggers like to flag new developments: Gen Zers are entering the workforce, DataViz becomes ever more prominent.

And last but not least: blogging is personal. Also when you do it on camera. Widely appreciated were Florimond Vermeulen's 6 vlogs. Straight from the audit trail. Calling in from the United States, Brazil, India and China to share his learnings with you. Enjoy!

1. Florimond Vermeulen, 'Will GDPR fundamentally change Credit Departments?'

Big data analytics is transforming industries at a rapid pace. An additional challenge to this transformation was the advent of GDPR, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. The legislation strictly regulates the gathering and usage of personal data which has been growing aggressively. In the years to come, GDPR will have a fundamental impact on credit departments. Companies won't be allowed any more to use certain data, while other data might no longer be available because active  consent is needed. Also, the decision-making process by algorithms or other automated processes based upon personal data will be restricted. Read more.

2. Alexander Van Caeneghem and Jean-Marie Bequevort, '5 ways how internal audit can further your career'

As part of our consulting activities, we interact a lot of with young professionals. Lately many of them have been explaining us they want to make their own decisions and be in the driver’s seat. What do we actually suggest? Work in internal audit. It’s no coincidence that GE, famous for its track record of developing leaders, has designed a Financial Management Program that starts with putting their high potentials in its Corporate Audit Staff. An internal audit cycle typically starts with an audit plan. That plan goes far beyond finance, and also includes operations, strategy, marketing and IT, with a growing focus on cyber security and data protection. Read more.

3. Florimond Vermeulen, '4 reasons why Data Visualization can enhance decision making'

A picture is worth a million rows. Data visualization allows decision makers to see complex analytics in a very comprehensive way. Doing so, they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns. Spreadsheets and data tables can be useful to deep dive into one individual case or to retrieve static information. However, in most cases it is faster and more interesting to first understand the general concepts, evolutions, trends and patterns before identifying particular cases. This is exactly where data visualization comes in. Data visualization turns fragmented data into an understandable pictorial or graphical format. It translates data into a universal language. Read more.

4. Toon Borré, 'Does GDPR allow the selling of patient data?'

At the beginning of 2018, Belgium did not seem ready for GDPR. Reactions to a news story that Belgian hospitals were ready to sell their patient data to an American multinational seemed to confirm this. There also was a real possibility that patient data would be transferred to the United States. In this op-ed piece, that was also published in De Standaard, one of Belgium's leading dailies, Data to Insight expert practice leader Toon Borré shed some light on the highly problematic character of this inititiative under GDPR. Read more.

5. Carl Van Cauwenberghe, 'PSD2: shaking up the payment and credit landscape'

The first Payment Service Directive dates back to 2009 and was meant to create a single, regulated market for payments in the European Union. Building on this, PSD2 installs further measures to ensure the protection of consumers by providing a framework that is better adapted to contemporary payment types, be it online or by phone. In addition, it seeks to increase competition in the European payment landscape as it will allow third party service providers to challenge the monopoly banks have had on their customer’s account information and the payment services they offer. Read more.

6. Leenke De Donder, 'The year in Data Visualization'

In this blog post, DataViz expert Leenke De Donder selected 12 examples — one for each month in 2017 —  of DataViz-related awesomeness. You will find her favorite examples of projects, articles, blogs, podcasts and more. Buckle up for great visuals from Ed Sheeran, The Pudding, The New York Times, Andy Kirk, Hans Rosling, The Washington Post, Nadieh Bremer and Data Stories... All the examples combined offer a good overview of the places and people that inspired Leenke. Read more.

7. David Prinsen Geerligs, '7 advantages of transparent process management'

Many organizations face a lack of insight into their processes. All too often, responsibilities for process management are placed in individual departments or business units, preventing people from different departments involved in the process to see correlations and interdependencies. This ‘Insight Deficit’, as we call it at CFO Services, very often makes people and organizations reluctant to change. With no-one overseeing the process, initiating change might cause disturbances in parts of the organization nobody ever thought would be affected by (modifying) the process. That’s why transformation projects are held off and goals aren’t achieved when change projects actually are initiated. Read more.

8. Dirk van Bastelaere, 'Generation Z: globalists, activists, entrepreneurs and digital natives?'

Generally born between the mid-1990s and mid 2000s, Generation Z has entered the workforce. At CFO Services, 37 percent of our consultants are Gen Z. In the media, Gen Zers are being characterised as globalists, activists, entrepreneurs and digital natives. Gen Zers are less money driven but also less loyal to their employer than older generations. They demand flex work, diversity and workplace equality. A very interesting finding is that 93 % of GenZ say ‘that a company’s impact on society affects their decision to work there’. Read more.

9. Florimond Vermeulen, 'On the Audit Trail' (Vlog)

Internal audit offers many opportunities to young professionals that want to discover the world of business and further their skills in all aspects of risk, finance, and operations management. In many companies, the function is perceived as a talent management platform given its breadth of exposure and the ability to make an impact at all levels of management very early in a career. Throughout 2018, we followed the journey of Florimond Vermeulen on his worldwide internal audit journey for one of our customers. Watch the 6 vlogs.

10. Alexander Van Caeneghem and Jean-Marie Bequevort, '4 tips to make an impact as a finance business partner'

How to make impact as a finance business partner? Not by sticking to your old habits, by staying in your ivory finance tower, by communicating via complex spreadsheets and static reporting, by delivering analyses mostly geared towards finance issues and lagging key performance indicators. Recent developments in technology offer many possibilities to upgrade: Tip #1: Get out of your cubicle Tip #2: Simplify the message Tip #3: Seek for the real drivers Tip #4: Talk options, not problems. Read more.

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