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Are spreadsheets holding you back?

29.09.2021

Managing financial and operational performance in today’s unpredictable business climate requires speed, agility and insight.

While on paper, it sounds simple. Let’s look at our numbers and we’ll get the answers. But many get stuck. Manual data collection across departments takes time. We are always surprised to see just how many teams across controlling and other departments still spend most of their time preparing input data instead of doing actual planning. Since it is a manual process involving many people, mistakes are bound to happen. If you think these are minor inconveniences, we need to mention the butterfly effects these small inaccuracies can cause. Take, for example, a major liquor and wine retailer in the UK that lost 60 percent of its market value – £500 million – in a matter of weeks, due in part to an “arithmetic error” in a spreadsheet. The Times commented, “Not for the first time, human error in spreadsheets has led to disaster.”

And the challenges don’t end there. Because the initial steps with collecting the data are time-consuming and error-prone, there’s not much room left for advanced analytics either. A simple request for new insights brings panic as the task might take weeks, sometimes even months. Reporting analytics, as well as forecasting, are challenged, and we probably do not need to mention that real-time insights are off the table.

IBM Planning Analytics – a New Era in Planning

The answer to those issues is really within everyone’s reach. Speed, agility and insight is the trinity packed into a single package IBM Planning Analytics, which:

  • automates planning, budgeting, forecasting and analysing procedures,
  • integrates the primary business drivers into financial KPIs so that finance and business users can align their goals,
  • has all the features of a spreadsheet but eliminates the need for manual work which boosts efficiency,
  • has access to all your data and integrates financial results and analytics with operational strategies to help you execute your plans and initiatives faster.
  • allows you to model data, gain insights and communicate with engaging visuals, generate forecasts, and perform what-if analysis to explore alternative hypotheses using a dynamic planning and analytical workspace. The ultimate result is that you’ll be able to establish well-timed, trustworthy plans for putting your findings into action.

This financial planning, budgeting, forecasting and analytics solution enables you to:

  • Create accurate and timely plans, budgets, and forecasts.
  • Perform in-depth scenario analysis to test assumptions and compare alternatives.
  • Build multi-dimensional models to explore profitability by product, customer, region, and other factors.
  • Use compelling self-service visualizations to communicate results.
  • Collaborate and connect plans across finance, sales, supply chain, business, human resources, and other areas.

What are the benefits of implementing IBM Planning Analytics?

Reduce the amount of labour time required to complete the annual budgeting process.
Businesses can reduce costs by breaking down silos between departments and business units, creating a single real-time source of truth, and automating tedious and time-consuming administrative steps such as data collection and reconciliation by centralizing planning processes at the enterprise level.

Processing planning data is now faster.
An organization’s average update time can be reduced by using the powerful calculation engine.

Forecast cycles require fewer man-hours.
Planners save time by preparing historical data using templates and existing modules before calculating forecast metrics for future periods. Eliminating and replacing obsolete planning solutions can result in cost savings. This will establish a consolidated data repository that all users can access, resulting in cost savings by replacing traditional business planning solutions with simple IT data feeds.

What can you expect from implementing IBM Planning Analytics?

Unified Planning.

Because the multiple planning procedures are placed in the same hierarchy, there is no mismatching of numbers. Because data comes from a single source of truth, employees from different departments can collaborate more effectively, decreasing the chance of errors and speeding up planning cycles.

A simplified environment for planning.

As an alternative to multiple point solutions for planning that use different spreadsheets, organizations can rely on IBM Planning Analytics to meet a variety of planning use cases. This reduces the need for continuous integration, customization, and third-party break/fix support, and seamlessly propagates changes to one planning workflow across the entire planning ecosystem.

Scalability.

Without requiring more planning resources or overstretching existing resources, IBM Planning Analytics can be easily adapted to a rapidly evolving business. Using existing templates or modules, companies can easily add or delete cost centers, branches or office locations in a centrally managed planning environment. The time required to build these additional resources from scratch and integrate them into the company’s various planning processes is reduced.

Automate the planning process.

Organizations spent much of their planning cycles manually capturing and validating data, rather than evaluating the data to gain insights and add value to the business. Data collection becomes repeatable and scalable with IBM Planning Analytics . Other value-added analytics such as what-if analysis and scenario-based segmentation are also enabled.

More efficient analytics.

With the TM1 calculation engine, companies can perform any number of what-if and scenario-based calculations to show the impact of an incremental change in a business factor on the company’s bottom line. These results can be used to create further reports and dashboards for executives or the board of directors, ultimately contributing to executive-level decision-making and business strategy.


In516ht & IBM: Proud of the multiple awards we received from our strategic partner, such as “Best Teaming IBM Business Analytics Partner in CEE”, “IBM Business Analytics Excellence Award” and “Best Performing IBM Business Partner”. Our solutions connect all aspects of planning and integrate reporting and predictive analytics into the planning process. Our methodology delivers faster results and minimizes risk.