12/11/2021 | Written by: Peter de Geus and Ilse Pelzer-Kerkhof
Categorized: Data & AI
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From Financial Planning and Analysis to Extended Planning and Analysis:
getting the most out of your Data Fabric
Financial and Operational Planning and Analysis processes play an indispensable role in ensuring the constant flow of the products your customers want and to have access to these products when your customers need them. But how can you improve your Planning & Analysis processes by leveraging the significant investments already made in your Data Fabric? And how can your planning analysis processes be extended further to deliver even more benefits for you and your organization and contribute to your strategic People Planet and Profit goals?
What is Data Fabric?
Over time, organizations have accumulated a wide range of data storage solutions and a variety of tools to handle them. While they were often the best possible option at the time, organizations frequently find it difficult to fully integrate and connect these tools and solutions in an intuitive way. This makes it challenging to rely on this data when it comes to making decisions.
The IBM data fabric solution – also known as IBM Cloud Pak – is a layer placed over the organization’s existing data storage solutions, connecting you to your organization’s data wherever it resides by cataloguing it to ensure it can be accessed by the right people at the right time.
As well as improving your decision-making processes, better access to your data thanks to IBM Cloud Pak can improve the customer experience, drive innovation, reduce time to market, increase your data security, and reduce costs. Plus, as it uses the existing data storage solutions and tools, it can reduce your time and financial investment.
From Financial Planning and Analysis to Extended Planning and analysis
Planning analytics is just one of the many tools that can be encompassed by your data fabric. It is vital for enterprise budgeting, forecasting, and operational planning based on structured and unstructured data from across the organization. As planning analytics is used to assist decision makers with future plans, it is essential that your planning analytics tool has access to the right quality data at the right time.
IBM integrates all the separate plans that exist in an organization, from financial planning to operational planning, into a single environment to create extended planning and analytics. By integrating all departmental planning processes together, it ensures that the consequences of changing one part of one plan, such as an increase in the cost of raw materials in the procurement planning, is visible in all connected plans, including finance, production, sales, and marketing.
The role of extended planning and analytics in your data fabric
When it comes to extended planning and analytics, it is vital to use quality data that automatically updates your planning every time there is a relevant change. This empowers your organization to place more trust in your data, so you can rely on it to fuel the future plans that form the backbone of your organization. This also helps your organization to gain more time by automating your planning, including updating the planning frequently, and feel more confident about the decisions you are making.
IBM Cloud Pak safeguards this trust. Simply by integrating all existing data storage locations, your data fabric ensures data governance across the organization, as well as compliance with relevant regulations, such as GDPR.
IBM Cloud Pak
Organizations have the choice to implement the full IBM Cloud Pak solution or implement parts of it alongside open source or solutions from other vendors depending on your current requirements.
Within the extended planning and analytics platform in Cloud Pak, IBM infuses artificial intelligence to support organizations as they make better plans using tools that end-users are able to use without extensive data science training. The algorithms underlying the platform are stable, delivering a documented audit trail, that ensures the transparency of all decisions even when the individual that made the decision or wrote the algorithm is no longer available to answer questions.
Implement extended planning and analytics today
Are you interested in discovering more about extended planning and analytics? Or would you like to discuss IBM’s data fabric solution, Cloud Pak, in more detail? Contact IBM to arrange a meeting.
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