Table of Contents
Rising cost-control expectations and regulatory compliance pressures have led to an increasing shift toward turnkey analytics and planning solutions. Companies face increasing demands to accelerate decision-making and contingency planning to effectively manage risk as data volumes grow.
According to the 2022 BPM Partners Pulse survey, key priorities include dashboards, timely reporting features and data visualization solutions to business problems. Another important aspect that these businesses consider is how compatible a novel solution will be with their established flow of work, and how seamlessly it can integrate with programs that they are already using. And, of course, these solutions should be time and cost-effective to ensure maximum efficiency.
Unified analytics and planning offer an integrated approach to financial and operational planning, combining data from various sources with tools for effective forecasting, budgeting and analytics in a single, cohesive platform. Learn how leveraging a unified method helps you turn your day-to-day activities into meaningful insights and overcome the challenges of legacy planning and analytics systems.
Get Control of All Your Data
With data constantly increasing, companies face more complex challenges that require sophisticated solutions, a technologically sound team and robust data management. A unified approach to financial planning and analysis (FP&A) helps you have greater control over your business data.
Centralize and Consolidate Data Sources
Enterprise organizations have access to more data than ever before, and managing vast amounts of data from various sources can quickly become overwhelming on its own. A single process or report can involve combining a number of sources, systems and input from multiple departments. Unified analytics and planning solutions allow businesses to gain control over their data by centralizing and consolidating data sources.
Businesses can integrate data from ERP systems, CRM platforms and cloud-based applications by seamlessly connecting to existing data sources. These solutions provide robust data integration capabilities, allowing organizations to extract, transform and load data from multiple sources into a unified data model.
Ensure Data Consistency and Accuracy
Businesses can integrate all relevant data sources into a centralized data model to establish a “single version of the truth” data model. This eliminates discrepancies and ensures that decision-makers have access to accurate and up-to-date information.
Advanced data governance features, such as audit trails, granular access controls and user rights management, can further enhance data consistency and security. These features ensure that data is securely managed and that only authorized users have access to sensitive information.
Empower Business Users with Self-Service Analytics
Unified analytics and planning solutions like Acterys empower business users to take control of their data and perform self-service analytics. This allows business users to configure models, build reports and perform analysis without extensive IT support.
By leveraging familiar tools like Microsoft Excel and Power BI, business users can easily build and manage models, customize analytics and gain insights from their data. Empowering business users with self-service analytics accelerates decision-making, improves operational efficiency and helps organizations leverage the expertise and insights of their teams more effectively.
Break Down Silos for Better Strategic Planning
It’s crucial to unite teams and promote transparency and harmony in your organization. Implementing a unified planning analytics solution allows you to consolidate workforce, finance, accounts and sales data into a single platform.
Eliminate Roadblocks to Collaboration
In traditional business environments, data silos often hinder effective strategic planning as decision-makers lack a holistic view of the organization’s operations and financials. Leveraging a unified data model helps break down these silos and fosters collaboration for better strategic and financial planning.
Unified analytics and planning empower cross-functional teams to collaborate and align their planning efforts, ensuring that everyone is working towards common goals. With a centralized data model, different teams can access and analyze the same data, ensuring consistency and alignment in their planning processes.
A unified approach can also support dynamic planning and forecasting, allowing organizations to proactively approach future developments. Businesses can adapt their plans and strategies in real time, ensuring agility and responsiveness in a rapidly changing business environment.
Improve Decision-Making with Real-Time Insights
Unified analytics and planning solutions, such as Acterys, offer rapid data integration capabilities, allowing businesses to automate update processes at any required interval. This ensures that decision-makers have access to the most up-to-date information, eliminating reliance on outdated and manual data-gathering processes.
Advanced analytics capabilities, such as AI-enhanced analysis models and forecasting, help FP&A analysts uncover insights and trends that may otherwise be missed. This empowers decision-makers to make proactive and strategic decisions based on data-driven insights. Visualization and analysis tools further enhance their ability to derive actionable insights from the data.
Streamline Your Processes
Tackling complex and copious amounts of data with outdated analytics processes can hinder business growth and innovation. Legacy solutions can slow down processes and increase costs, limiting the ability to extract meaningful insights from data. The true value of data can be realized through actionable insights gained from robust integrations with leading third-party analytics tools like Power BI.
Optimize Data Models and Integration
With the help of unified analytics and planning solutions, businesses can build optimal data models, such as star schema data warehouses, that provide a view tailored to the business. These models enable efficient data analysis and reporting and seamless integration with existing systems, including ERP, accounting software, and SaaS platforms. This integration eliminates the need for manual data entry and ensures that data is automatically synchronized across different systems.
Automate Planning and Reporting Processes
Businesses can save time and resources by automating repetitive tasks, allowing their FP&A teams to focus on more strategic activities. With a unified analytics and planning solution from Acterys, users can take advantage of features such as smart logic wizards and templates that guide users through the setup of planning processes, including time intelligence, approval workflows and consolidation.
Enhance Workflow Efficiency
Traditional planning and forecasting cycles can be time-consuming and infrequent, leading to missed opportunities and an inability to respond quickly to market changes. Unified planning and analytics enable you to make closing and planning cycles quicker, shorter and more frequent. This allows you to anticipate change, adjust your strategies and make informed decisions promptly.
Elements of a Unified Planning and Analytics Solution
A unified planning and analytics solution replaces the need for a variety of software applications used for different business units or functions. It eliminates the friction caused by linking standalone software by integrating data collection, warehousing, modeling, planning, report writing and data discovery into one unified platform. It also prevents sloppy data collection and saves a lot of capital and time in the process.
The unified data model caters to the evolving needs of modern businesses and major accounting applications can be seamlessly linked to the data model with easy connectors. Innovative platforms, such as Acterys, also enable write-back capabilities in existing Power BI reports, allowing for financial modeling and simulation. These capabilities provide granular control over user rights and data security, ensuring that only approved users can access the necessary data models.
An integrated analytics and planning solution enables you to:
Understand Your Data
Performance data: Use historical data with sophisticated machine learning algorithms to build robust plans.
Challenges: Dive deeper into data with features like drill down capabilities from Acterys Matrix, which enables teams to view granular business details and focus on specific problem areas.
Opportunities: See how changing certain parameters and drivers affect your sales. Simulate scenarios and experiment to achieve maximum productivity.
Ideal customer profile: Target the right audience based on past sales and interactions.
Profitability factors: Analyze past data to determine what makes your product line stand out.
Cash cycle: Monitor cash flows and due dates and develop a plan for long-term investments.
Unite Your Organization
Teams within your company: Foster a collaborative environment within the business where teams operate in harmony and transparency.
Financial and operational data: Consolidate workforce, finance, accounts and sales data to create clear performance reports and dashboards.
Purchasing and trading capacity: Plan for production, payment and sales strategies to stay in alignment with your purchasing and marketing capacity.
Analysis and planning: Put data-backed business policies to practice and create predictive models and forecasts.
Accelerate Your Growth
Quickly adapt to change: Easily predict and plan for the challenges coming ahead with integrated analytics.
Speed up production processes: Track supply and demand trends and utilize rough-cut capacity planning tactics to speed up production.
Streamline planning and forecasting: Make closing and planning cycles quicker, shorter and more frequent to anticipate change.
Unite Financial Planning and Analytics with Acterys
A unified approach to analytics and planning is an important part of finance digital transformation and modernization. It enables teams to dedicate more time to value-add activities rather than manual processes, improves accuracy and encourages collaboration. Acterys supports all aspects of FP&A, from generating sales reports to closing and consolidating accounts, facilitating zero-based budgeting, top-down and bottom-up planning and more.
The platform seamlessly integrates with widely used business applications, including Power BI and Excel, and offers templates, models and workflows for all finance tasks. Businesses can leverage automation, analytics and AI to transform annual forecasting and budgeting processes and gain an edge over traditional planning by modeling what-if scenarios and rolling forecasts.
Acterys offers built-in models and data representation tools that transform data into meaningful insights by considering the history, possibilities and current situation of each department and providing a holistic view of your business. When combined with the efficiencies of automated workflows, your business can spend more time interacting with models and using them for predictions, rather than building them.
While unified planning, analytics and AI integrations can’t eliminate all uncertainties in business, they can provide a purpose to the data collected and tell the story of your business performance and overall financial health.