Planning Analytics

Finance: Still planning in spreadsheets?

By FRASER ANDERSON posted Mon May 09, 2016 09:13 AM

Hello fellow Finance team members,

Many of us here on the Watson Analytics Community are from Finance and we share similar roles in planning, looking at profitability and scenario analysis. With the rapid changes in the market and within IBM, the complexity of financial planning continues to grow. In my case, I’ve been a financial analyst with IBM for over eight years, most recently supporting Systems Software revenue planning and analysis. Using our existing programs, I have been pulling +600,000 rows of data and even with new file formats and new editions of existing programs the data manipulation and pivot tables are becoming unresponsive. And we’re quickly approaching the data limit of 1 million rows. Aside from the sheer number of rows, the complexity of the data and analysis continues to grow at a faster and faster rate and manual manipulation of the data to glean information for analysis is tedious and time consuming.

So I was very curious when I heard about a new solution called IBM Planning Analytics and had the opportunity to give it a 15-day trial. The trial provided a guided experience through the actual solution itself, using dummy data for an imaginary company called SmartCo. This trial gave me a taste of new solutions that are being developed to help create a smarter finance organization as we work to remain essential to IBM and our clients.

The trial shows how Watson Analytics can be leveraged to predict the best customers as an example of IBM Finance’s drive towards better and broader use of analytics.

The trial took just 15 minutes. It gave me a good glimpse of the potential that smart planning could bring.

I encourage you to take a few minutes yourself to see what this new tool could do for you. Here is a link to the trial. IBM Planning Analytics