Planning Analytics

Integrated Business Planning

By NIGEL SUTTON posted Sat November 07, 2020 04:56 AM


Organisations are increasingly looking for effective Integrated Business Planning (IBP) solutions to coordinate their operations and react more quickly to internal and external factors in pursuit of maximizing performance.

IBM Planning Analytics has many applications across industries enabling organisations to plan, collaborate and respond quickly to market changes whilst aligning the whole business.

The first in a series of 2020 webinars held in April covered the latest release of IBM Planning Analytics, customer success stories, roadmap and innovation. The session facilitated Q&A from the 240+ attendees. The full webinar is available for replay using this link.

Here are some of the capabilities covered in the IBP solution demonstration that featured in the event;

Data input/collection techniques

Data can be easily imported from external systems across on premise, cloud and hybrid environments. For user input there are built-in shortcuts and data spreading functions that can be applied at any level throughout your hierarchies supporting both top-down and bottom-up planning.

Intuitive template driven interfaces

Templates can be created and delivered using either the web browser interface (Workspace) or Microsoft Excel. User experience is further enhanced with action buttons (e.g. copying data, submitting data, etc.) and plans are aggregated and available for reporting and analysis in near real-time.

Work interchangeably with a browser and Excel

There is a consistent user experience regardless of whether the user interacts with plans using Workspace and/or the add-in for Excel. Content authored in Excel can also be consumed within Workspace providing a choice of interface and ensuring trusted data on a single platform.


Our customers typically adopt a template driven approach with the product's workflow assisted capabilities, e.g.

  • Using the product’s guided planning approach to assigning distinct tasks to different groups in a planning process

  • Standardised bottom up submission and rejection of plans
  • Customized to align with specific requirements that differ depending on the stage in your planning process.

User activity reporting

The solution can record all changes that take place right down to the individual cell level. This includes user/date timestamp, original values and new values. You can back out of transactions, provide auditing reports or simply understand business activity in more detail throughout the process. 

Commentary across aggregations of data

Commentary is also captured within the solution alongside the planning numbers. You can have data validation to prompt for commentary to be entered and have visibility of commentary throughout all levels.

Dashboarding and Analysis

Either Workspace and/or Planning Analytics for Excel can be used and can range from a high-level interactive dashboard (e.g. used to feed into the quarterly business reviews for past performance and future opportunity planning) through to production of regular report packs.

IBM Planning Analytics has many use cases across organisations and industries. As well as the April 2020 webinar more information can be found here including customer case studies, access to a free trial, guided tutorials and much more.