Rethink enterprise performance management and financial forecasting
- Posted on June 10, 2021
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Through our acquisition of Altius last year, we have grown our capabilities and expertise in data, AI and enterprise performance management (EPM), building on our existing heritage with Microsoft, Oracle and OneStream. In this blog, we’ll explore why enhancing our EPM capability was a timely decision and uncover the value it offers our customers.
Why businesses need to rethink their financial planning
Most companies’ planning, budgeting and forecasting processes are not fit for purpose. Many still rely on disparate systems and manual tools such as spreadsheets, which makes it difficult to get a quick and accurate view of how the business is performing.
To solve this challenge, forward-thinking CFOs are turning to analytics. 74% of finance executives have a desire to use predictive analytics to gain insight into the future.1 But they lack the right tools, as only 29% of finance systems allow organizations to accurately predict performance.
Modern EPM solutions address this need for speed, integration and intelligence by bringing together traditional performance management tasks, such as financial planning and operational planning, with external data/factors along with data science and advanced analytics.
Respond smarter with data analytics and EPM artificial intelligence
Using data science and AI to predict the most volatile elements of business, means decision makers can rapidly revise plans in response to changing events. This helps the business shift from traditional calendar-based planning to dynamic or events-based cycles. An approach that has become increasingly valuable in light of the pandemic, as businesses have needed to respond quickly and work in agile ways.
Combining data science and advanced analytics within EPM solutions also helps businesses to understand analytical insights in context of their business strategy. This turns analytical insight from something that’s simply interesting to useful information that can drive decision making.
For example, a gym could use data analytics algorithms to target membership retention activities and in turn predict total membership levels. Then, they can feed these insights into their EPM solution. Here the data can be used in conjunction with other financial drivers and predictive modelling to see how memberships levels will impact other factors: facility usage, demand for classes, maintenance costs, number of instructors – for a more accurate prediction of profitability.
Renew efficiency in finance and operations with improved forecasting
The addition of data science and the advancement of EPM tools allows decision makers to easily model, track and act on financial and operational data – improving outcomes for these departments.
Organizations that invest in EPM realize 50% higher financial effectiveness than peers who simply digitize their accounting and finance operations.1 This is because they can:
- Manage and drive profitability more effectively
- Close financial cycles faster
- Create agile integrated plans
- Save on auditing costs
In terms of operations, EPM can help you plan in line with business strategy to ensure you’re working towards targets that support higher business goals. And automated models can provide first drafts of forecasts and plans, which you can update quickly and easily in response to changing circumstances.
There are plenty of EPM solutions to choose from, but we recommend OneStream with an Azure SaaS subscription, for a single, trusted version of business performance.
OneStream can integrate with a range of products to build a platform that meets your needs and complements your existing infrastructure. We regularly integrate OneStream with a Microsoft Azure Data Platform, leveraging Azure Machine Learning (ML) and Power BI to deliver advanced analytics for better decision making.
Avanade: Your EPM advantage
At Avanade, we have a strong capability in OneStream and we’re experts in the Microsoft ecosystem. We can help you build a fully integrated solution using familiar solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP, Azure Data Platform, Azure Machine Learning and Power BI. Using this approach, we’ve seen benefits across all our customers, including greater insight, improved decision making and 40-50% higher financial effectiveness.
As your partner, we’ll help you plan a smooth implementation journey and identify opportunities to add more value, so you can get the most from your OneStream investment.