Planning & Modeling Platform Buyers Guide

March 13, 2024
3 min

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Business planning and modeling were once centralized and reserved for a few experts. Today’s new business reality requires many more individuals within an organization to analyze, plan, and make data-driven decisions collaboratively. Organizations are managing this by adapting their modeling and planning processes to make it easy for everyone to participate, creating a way to collaborate on analyses across teams, and boosting computational performance. As data-driven decision-making is now expected and required in many business areas, it is imperative that more individuals are capable of building operational models.

In this guide, we present the four key steps to operationalizing business planning and provide you with a list of capabilities and features you should be looking for in a technology platform that can help you drive your business planning. It is important to remember that technology is only part of the equation. Building the appropriate culture, skill sets, and processes around your planning is also critical.

Operationalizing Business Planning

In today’s dynamic business environment, it is critical to establish a system for creating, sharing, and adapting plans quickly. Organizations that operationalize their business planning establish a common standard across their teams to enable a connected, collaborative, agile, and scalable planning system. They are able to act quickly and decisively to manage challenges and take advantage of new opportunities.

Operationalize connected planning by providing the agility to adapt your plans as business conditions change while maintaining the integrity of your processes, data, and dashboards. There are four areas for operationalizing business planning.

Set Your Process

The first step in operationalizing your business planning is to establish processes that ensure the appropriate level of governance across your organization. These processes will control the roles and responsibilities of the individuals involved in planning, establish common timeframes, and define deliverables. 

  • Access Control to manage the roles and responsibilities of individuals
  • Visibility Control to set appropriate limits on who can see what information
  • Versioning of models to ensure collaboration can happen without the fear of losing control
  • Auditability to establish accountability and control contributions

Manage Your Data

Any model and plan will only be as accurate and reliable as the data behind them. Proper collection, normalization, and organization are essential parts of operationalizing business planning. It is important to take into consideration that this is not a one-time step but an ongoing process as data sources, data structure, and business requirements change.

  • Integrations and imports of data into planning models from various sources
  • Mapping and transformation of data to ensure consistency
  • Validation to make sure quality remains high and integrity is preserved
  • Collection of inputs from individuals in a secure manner

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Model Your Plans

When transforming data into information, scenarios, and actionable insights, it is important that individuals with the required operational and business expertise can access the modeling tools to build plans that take into account the details and nuances of their areas. These models need to be easily adaptable to keep up with the speed of business.

  • Multi-dimensional modeling provides the flexibility to build and adapt models
  • Accessibility and an intuitive user experience to empower individuals
  • Connected models that shared information and created holistic plans
  • Flexibility to model many operational areas of the business

Drive Actions

Ultimately, the purpose of business planning is to inform decisions and actions. The insights uncovered in operational modeling need to be translated into actionable insights that empower decision-makers to drive action.

  • Dashboards to effectively communicate your insights
  • Drill down into the information behind the insights for context
  • Scenarios that can show the impact of various decisions
  • Real-time updates to dashboards and scenarios when changing underlying data

A collaborative planning solution is no longer a luxury but a necessity. As you consider the diverse options in collaborative planning technology, remember to always keep your company's vision and goals at the forefront of your decision-making. When coupled with an intuitive and powerful collaborative planning solution, your ability to expand and scale your operational excellence is significantly enhanced, ensuring a brighter and more prosperous future for your business. The right choice in collaborative planning technology can be the catalyst that propels your business toward new heights of success.

View the Guide Here

Download the Guide Here

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