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Key Business Analytics Features to Optimize Financial Planning

Keaton Alexander April 1, 2022 at 4:25 PM

Regardless of industry, nearly every organization has to generate business intelligence to determine the best financial path forward. IBM Planning Analytics (formerly TM1) simplifies financial planning and analysis (FP&A) for finance teams, enabling effective strategic decision-making.

 

Business Analytics Tools that Transform Financial Planning

 

The most essential business analytics tools that will optimize your financial planning include:

 

  • Integration of disparate data sources for in-depth analysis 
  • Simplified reporting via self-generated reports
  • Visual mapping of data for cross-platform visibility
  • Documentation of changes to analytics models
  • Automation of each of the above processes

 

When finance teams use IBM Planning Analytics to meet their FP&A needs, they create cleaner data environments, better visualize data, and boost the predictive potential of the business analytics model—especially when they rely on QUBEdocs to get the most out of Planning Analytics.

 

Robust Data Integration and Analysis

Financial planning relies on the data coming out of multiple departments to drive accurate decision-making. As a result, one of the most widely-used features of the IBM TM1 platform is its capability to integrate data from disparate sales, operations, or client-facing functions into one centralized environment where end-users can extract meaningful insights.

 

Examples of key TM1 tools that support CFOs’ responsibilities for data analysis include:

 

  • Search functions to find specific data using defined keywords
  • Interactive, user-friendly analysis tools to simplify business analytics
  • Cloud analytics capabilities for data sources on the cloud
  • Support for a wide range of data sources and connections

 

IBM Planning Analytics simplifies data integration and analysis—helping your finance teams navigate large, complex datasets much smoother—but it’s not the easiest to use.

 

Solutions like QUBEdocs help organizations get the most out of Planning Analytics. With many companies adopting cloud-based solutions for data storage and analytics workflows, IBM TM1’s cloud analytics capabilities provide flexibility for both on-premise and cloud-based applications.

 

Simplified Financial Reporting

Sometimes, stakeholders will want financial reports presented in a specific format. Whether they need precise (albeit data-heavy) financial reports generated for presentation to the company board or more simplified (if still robust) annual investor reports, IBM Planning Analytics will help you personalize financial reporting.

 

IBM TM1 transforms your financial reporting capabilities by helping you:

 

  • Generate up-to-date financial reports incorporating the most recent data
  • Create dynamic reports tailored to the desired recipients
  • Design report formats with your target audience in mind

 

Preparing financial reports can be painstaking, especially when business decision-making depends on the insight within. IBM Planning Analytics simplifies the finer, intricate details of financial reporting, letting you focus on generating insights that help you make sound business decisions—especially when optimized with a tool like QUBEdocs.

 

Visual Mapping Across Analytical Platforms

When you want to view different iterations of data models within your IBM TM1 dashboard, visual mapping tools can help. Data modeling in IBM Planning Analytics facilitates creativity by allowing end-users to visualize models and data environments.

 

TM1’s visual mapping tools will help you:

 

  • Gain insight into previously undiscovered patterns within financial data
  • Generate compelling and engaging financial reports
  • Develop actionable business intelligence from complex datasets

 

Regardless of industry, IBM Planning Analytics visual mapping tools will optimize financial planning and analysis, helping you create high-quality data reports for various stakeholder audiences.

 

Documentation of Changes to Business Analytics Models 

One of the most noteworthy features of IBM Planning Analytics is the capability for users and developers alike to document changes to data models. The integrity of data models used for financial reporting and planning is essential to any company’s operational effectiveness. 

 

IBM Planning Analytics enables users to track:

 

  • Changes to newly implemented and existing data models
  • Any new or projected models currently in development
  • Impact analyses following changes to data models

 

Most importantly, documentation of changes to TM1 models helps mitigate any risks of losing institutional or operational knowledge when a key financial developer leaves the organization or your IBM TM1 application crashes. IBM Planning Analytics also offers the option to schedule documentation ahead of time, ensuring you don’t miss documenting critical model events.

 

However, as previously mentioned, documentation can be mundane and time-consuming—and in some cases, inaccurate—when conducted by multiple users. That’s where QUBEdocs comes in, providing robust TM1 documentation solutions to enhance your business analytics. 

 

Automation of Data Analytics

Finally, automating data analytics is essential when your data modeling requires ongoing tweaks as new data keeps coming in. IBM Planning Analytics offers extensive automation features to help increase the speed and efficiency of business analytics.

 

Automation doesn’t just apply to data modeling but extends to nearly every aspect of business analytics. Here’s how automation can transform your IBM Planning Analytics workflows:

 

  • Data preparation – With automated data preparation tools—such as those driven by AI—you can maintain consistent data hygiene, especially for data sourced from disparate departments or functions in your company.
  • Optimized searchability – For end-users who aren’t familiar with advanced data analytics functions, automated search functions in IBM TM1 enable accurate data input and searchability, ensuring coverage for both structured and unstructured data. 
  • Enhanced visualization – AI-driven visualizations provide automated suggestions for visualizations and enable TM1 end-users to generate actionable insights and create compelling reports, optimizing overall financial reporting.

 

The automation features offered by IBM Planning Analytics will transform your FP&A workflows, increasing productivity and improving the efficiency of financial planning—especially with the added functionalities of a tool like QUBEdocs.

 

The Benefits of Optimized Financial Planning

According to the Aberdeen Group’s 2019 Report, most companies face pressure to conduct faster and more efficient FP&A to meet growing business demands.

 

In many cases, financial planning is cumbersome when using outdated or much slower analytics tools that can’t keep up with the demands of a rapidly evolving business environment. In others, companies struggle to get the most out of sophisticated tools, rendering them inefficient.

 

Here’s how IBM Planning Analytics optimizes financial planning when paired with QUBEdocs:

 

  • Data models can be re-forecast quickly to adjust to changes in the market.
  • “What-if” scenarios can be conducted faster to enable dynamic financial modeling.
  • Data from various business departments and functions can be integrated into the analytics model to drive forecasting—by department, resource, or other filters.
  • Automated data modeling enables faster financial forecasting.

 

Companies that rely on IBM Planning Analytics to drive their financial planning can get the most out of their model—productivity, data integration, and financial forecasting—with QUBEdocs.

 

Optimize Financial Planning with QUBEdocs

QUBEdocs is a documentation tool for TM1 models, helping to optimize FP&A for companies whose business analytics run on IBM Planning Analytics. For most companies, TM1 documentation takes up a lot of time and effort, which could be spent developing strategic business insight.

 

QUBEdocs redeems that time by automating cumbersome documentation processes and maximizes your ROI on IBM Planning Analytics.

 

We also now offer parallel solutions for businesses that use Oracle Hyperion, as well.

 

Finance teams that use QUBEdocs for their financial planning and reporting can benefit from streamlined data integrations, model tracking, and robust data visualizations. Furthermore, QUBEdocs helps you maintain the integrity of your data models by conducting integrity checks on all documentation, tracking changes to models over time, and generating model documentation promptly.

 

Let's discuss how QUBEdocs will optimize your financial planning 

 

 

 

 

Sources: 

Aberdeen Group. Maximize Financial Planning and Analysis Performance with Superior Analytics. https://www.aberdeen.com/wp-content/uploads/17814-KB-FPA-Analytics.pdf

IBM. IBM Cognos Analytics with Watson. https://www.ibm.com/products/cognos-analytics

O’Reilly Media. The Value of AI-Powered Business Intelligence. https://www.ibm.com/downloads/cas/WWR6MK0X



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