AFTAs 2020: Best Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technology Initiative—Moody’s Analytics

AFTAs

New York-based Moody’s Analytics has enjoyed considerable success across a number of WatersTechnology’s awards programs over the years—for example, in 2020 it won the best credit risk solution provider category in the Waters Rankings—although a win in the AFTAs has always eluded the financial intelligence and analytical tools specialist. Until the 2020 AFTAs that is: This year, Moody’s Analytics walks away with a pair of wins, the first of them coming in the best artificial intelligence (AI) technology initiative category, thanks to its QUIQspread offering, an AI-based financial spreading tool unveiled in 2020, designed to help institutions automate the spreading of financial statements.

Financial spreading is the manually intensive process through which lenders extract key data from unstructured financial statements from the purposes of conducting credit risk analysis on borrowers. According to Eric Grandeo, senior director, product manager at Moody’s Analytics, QUIQspread uses machine learning technology to automate the financial spreading process, resulting in normalized datasets and allowing lenders to make faster and more judicious lending and credit decisions. “It’s a process that can be cumbersome and inconsistent, potentially resulting in costly mistakes,” Grandeo explains. “Lenders want to empower their relationship managers and analysts to focus more on high-value credit risk analysis tasks and increase their throughput in the most efficient way possible, and QUIQspread helps them do that.”        

Given the unstructured nature of financial statements, incumbent rules-based applications tend to struggle when it comes to accounting for the variety of information/data formats presented in statements. Machine learning, Grandeo explains, is the ideal technology to automate that process. Machine learning technology learns from “previous practices and behaviors and can adapt to change over time without any development work,” he says. “Spreading is an evolving practice and needs a technology that evolves with it. Today, QUIQspread is processing thousands of spreads for customers in production who are now benefiting from significant time savings and efficiencies.”

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