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Background:

We (a team in the IT department) are currently helping the financial team solve their problem, by automating their tasks.

The task is this: they review the financial report monthly and manage to respond to the question asked by the CEO: “why did the gross profit grow/shrink this month?”.

The desired response may be versatile, ranging from “Decreased material costs”, “Increased Rebate from Suppliers” to “Increased Sales (because promotion worked)” and more.

They suffer from spending long hours doing the analytics, therefore resort to us for help.

Our Problem:

My team has come up with solutions for hardcoding some rules. However, we still worry that hardcoded rules wouldn’t cover all situations, and might not be flexible enough to deal with future scenarios.

Are there any other smart ways of doing it? Ridiculous as it may sound, our client is especially keen to know whether Machine Learning can be applied to their case. From our standpoint, we’re searching for any possibility of applying new technology (or statistical methods), aside from the hardcoded solution. So, anything viable is great!

Thank you so much for reading so far, please enlighten us if you’ve got any ideas…. Any thoughts would be thought-provoking… Thanks again!

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