DataDear: A cloud-based solution for finance and business professionals

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 October, 2020 at 9:20 am by Andre Camilleri

Finance and business professionals transitioning their business to cloud have much to benefit from DataDear – a project which received €161,000 in funds granted by FUSION the national funding programme administered by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST). The technology was developed by the DataDear Consortium represented by Scope Solutions and the University of Malta.

A dissemination event entitled DataDear: Empowering Finance Professionals was held last Friday the 23rd October at the Planetarium Building at Esplora Interactive Science Centre, Kalkara. The event was attended by industry professionals who could follow the results of the technology and participated in an interactive panel discussion composed of Dana Farrugia, CEO Tech MT, Steve Ginell Partner PWC, Andrew Naudi Partner Nouv, Beppe Muscat NM group and Brian Ferris Partner Scope.

Over the past decade, the business world has experienced a noticeable shift from traditional software to software being offered as a cloud-based solution, the latter also referred to as SaaS (software as a service). This shift has been further accentuated by the current COVID-19 dynamic, which has naturally accelerated this process for some companies. Scope has identified this overall shift during early days and during 2013 has set up shop to provide advice, together with implementation & support services for any business wanting to adopt a cloud-based solution. Scope has also recognised the influential position played by key stakeholders in the cloud adoption process, which includes accountants in business and in practice. To this effect, Scope has been focusing on empowering finance & business professionals, through embracing technology in order to drive the business forward.

During his presentation entitled: Empowering Finance Professionals, Brian Ferris, Scope partner said that “through Scope’s active work in the cloud solutions space, particularly with finance professionals, an opportunity was identified a few years ago, which was later brought to life through DataDear, a synergistic and integrated SaaS product. DataDear has now embarked on its own journey, currently servicing thousands of finance & business professionals throughout the entire globe, once again emphasising Malta’s presence as a strategic player in the fintech industry.”

SMEs have been working in their siloed setups using traditional software and legacy processes. In today’s world, these on-premise setups are being replaced by cloud-based software. For startups, cloud adoption is relatively straightforward, yet for established entities this transition can be more cumbersome. A number of researchers have established that one of the reasons SMEs delay shifting their organisation to the SaaS model, is due to the “deep existing business processes that are embedded in the day-to-day running of the operations, especially when it comes to recording data for analysis and reporting”. Research also shows that spreadsheet software is one of the most-used technologies for collecting, computing, and displaying data. Accountants and business owners are familiar with spreadsheet software. In spite of the risks associated with operating such a versatile tool, undoubtedly there are also various benefits of operating this tool, when approached diligently.

Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, Executive Chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology, stated that: “The synergies and dynamics which define the DataDear consortium are noteworthy. The momentum generated by this level of ambition is pivotal to the mechanism behind the national Research and Innovation Programme – FUSION.  Year after year, we take great pride in observing the steady rise in the number of applicants who avail themselves of the uptake of national funds to accomplish what to them may otherwise have – many a time – been an unattainable dream”.

In his address, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy the Hon. Clayton Bartolo highlighted that the objective of the DataDear project is to create a series of innovative tools which help SMEs transition their business to the cloud, without having to reinvent all their internal processes and reports, whilst retaining the ability to push data in the cloud from familiar software such as existing spreadsheets.

“This objective has been achieved by creating a two-way synchronised bridge between the data in the cloud and the local machine, facilitating this data exchange through a controlled environment. Welcome to DataDear,” remarked Parliamentary Secretary Clayton Bartolo.

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