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  1. Soccer, M&A Prediction and Machine Learning

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    Category: Opinions

    Currently, robotic process automation is often used in finance departments in order to redeem employees from dull chores. However, despite the booming field of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), financial applications of these techniques are quite scarce. By making a connection with a referee who needs to (dis)approve a goal, Lennert Van der Schraelen, Kristof Stouthuysen and Mathieu Luypaert try to establish useful applications concerning mergers and acquisitions (M&A).

  2. Are CFOs the Lucky Luke of decision-making?

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    Category: Opinions

    Analysing data at a rapid pace in order to make decisive decisions based on the results delivered, is an issue that many companies and their decision-makers often struggle with in this digital world. Apart from the obvious technological aspect, you need an integrated view on data and decision-making and a data-driven company culture. The CFO can act as a major catalyst to help organisations transform towards a more agile and effective decision-making entity.

  3. Are self-managing teams the solution in a fast-changing environment?

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    Category: Opinions

    In a fast-changing market, traditional and hierarchical structures are making way for more agile teams that are able to respond quickly to challenges, come up with solutions and strive for innovation. Self-managing teams are in charge of a meaningful share of the work, with the role of the leader taking on a completely different function. Professor Karlien Vanderheyden explains how to lead self-managing teams and talks about the advantages and potential pitfalls.

  4. Greater focus on the S for Social within ESG

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    Category: Opinions

    Employees of the Dutch asset manager Robeco are gradually returning to their familiar office environments, but the world has changed considerably in recent months. Robeco's COO Karin van Baardwijk has observed a remarkable shift within the ESG criteria that the group uses as its guideline: 'There is now a greater focus on the 'S' for Social.' Read the full discussion between Karin van Baardwijk and Vlerick's professor Xavier Baeten.

  5. Remuneration in turbulent times

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    Category: Opinions

    The crisis calls for contemplation. Decisions that directors take now can help to make companies future-proof, with the added benefit of strongly embedding them in society. Professor Xavier Baeten argues that it would be courageous to take advantage of this crisis to rethink corporate remuneration policies. Not so we can still pay bonuses in spite of everything, but in order to bring them much more into line with the company's strategy.

  6. The end of social media (as we know it)

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    Category: Opinions

    Due to the current health crisis, our lives have become digitalized at an overwhelming speed. Despite of this new digital literacy, we have also developed new, potentially more demanding needs for satisfying digital connectivity. According to Professor Fredrik Hacklin, we may not necessarily experience a fatigue from the digital medium per se, but simply from the type of content. We seem to be on a transition of silently moving away from a one-to-many based social media, broadcasting easy-to-consume content, that is of mere informative intent and accessible to a large audience. Instead, we are embracing one-to-one or one-to-fewer interaction: direct connection, longer periods of engagement, deeper levels of insight.

  7. How can supply chains recover from the Covid-19 bullwhip?

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    Category: Opinions

    Even a small but sudden change in consumer demand may lead to large demand variations upstream. This bullwhip effect is observed in today’s supply chains. The inventory dynamics downstream in the supply chain will determine how the recovery from the Covid-19 bullwhip will look like. At the same time, it is vital to keep an eye to our upstream supply companies, as they should remain resilient to the large swings in demand. If they collapse, it will create supply shortages and prevent us from fully taking advantage of the market recovery when demand picks up again.

  8. The digital CFO: 10 key steps to success

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    Category: Opinions

    Covid-19 has forced companies to accelerate their digitisation efforts. Further digitisation is necessary because it allows us to do things smarter, faster and cheaper, thus boosting our productivity. However, a recent CFO study shows that the productivity of most finance departments has decreased by 60% to 80% since the start of this pandemic. Covid-19 has been the first real test of how far finance departments have progressed in their digital transformation. So, we can learn a lot from successful digital CFOs. Professor Kristof Stouthuysen explains the road to digital success in 10 key steps.

  9. Industry 4.0: beyond smart factories to value creation across the entire supply chain

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    Category: Opinions

    Technologies are enhancing each other, processes are connected, the computing power is enormous and all this means that the previously unthinkable is now possible. ‘It’s leading to an explosion of interesting applications.’ But what should companies do with it? Professor of Operations & Supply Chain Management Ann Vereecke explains the possibilities offered by industry 4.0.

  10. Covid patents and R&D races will save us, not the WHO

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    Category: Opinions

    Making vaccine technology freely available to everyone sounds good. According to Professor Walter Van Dyck, patent prohibition however will slow down access to vaccine technology and, worse still, dry up innovation. To tackle the debilitating battle with the virus, you need a small number of global, capital-rich pharmaceutical companies at the heart of an ecosystem that builds on initial university research and has the scale to lead global distribution.

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