Thursday, 30 June 2016 11:19

KPMG, IBM team up to apply cognitive tech to professional services

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Management giant KPMG has partnered with IBM to further increase cognitive capabilities and application of IBM Watson cognitive computing technology to a range of its professional services offerings in the Australian market.

The partnership between KPMG and IBM in Australia extends existing agreements in the US and the UK markets and includes a focus on audit and assurance services.

Duncan McLennan, KPMG’s national managing partner of audit in Australia, says the move is designed to further enhance focus on quality and insights, and auditing is particularly suited to cognitive technology because of the increasing challenge to tackle immense volumes of structured and unstructured data related to a company’s financial and non-financial information.

McLennan says cognitive technology’s exponential data analysis capabilities can transform how critical decisions are made and the level of assurance provided.   

“Already, data and analytics techniques are transforming audit by allowing analysis of much bigger populations of data than traditional sampling from which to draw conclusions. Cognitive technology will allow us to build on these data and analytics advances. They will be a game changer in how the value of audit is perceived by the marketplace.”

According to McLennan, KPMG’s use of IBM Watson technology will accelerate the ability to analyse and act on core financial and operational data central to the health of organisations and the capital markets, enabling greater collaboration between humans and systems and providing the ability to communicate in “natural language and analyse massive amounts of data to deliver insights more quickly”.

IBM Watson integrates machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies into a scalable system that can be accessed through a range of applications.

“We believe we are nearing a tipping point where the use of automation tools, machine learning and data analytics will provide significant enhancements to the range of services and the depth of insights we can provide to clients. Today’s announcement complements the firm’s investment focus around innovation and disruption,” said Ken Reid, KPMG Australia’s national managing partner for innovation.

“We’ve been bolstering our capabilities in a range of emerging technologies through acquisitions. We’ve also recently launched a new practice, Solution 49x, to help clients harness the power of cognitive and artificial intelligence. And we’ve formed a number of significant strategic alliances locally and globally.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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