“Gagetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs.”
Isaac Asimov’s predictive essay, “Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014,” was based on the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, New York, and looked ahead fifty years to 2014. He addressed transportation, the environment, engineering, and – of course - technology. Like many of his contemporaries, he expected that advancements in technology would make our lives easier. If the tactical, or ‘tedious’ work could be automated or handled through artificial intelligence, people would be free to move on to more value-oriented, interpretive work.
His assumption is well applied to the spend management solutions of today. We have not yet been liberated from tedium by our solutions. In many cases, we are slaves to data cleansing and report creation. In the end, our solutions serve as no more than accessible, segmented, storage. In a recent survey of UK-based CPOs, Rosslyn Analytics found “that business leaders spend six working days per month collecting and preparing data for analysis and reporting.”2 If there are an average 22 working days in any given month, leaders are spending roughly a quarter of their time working with data – not drawing conclusions, but preparing it for analysis.