Data is something that most organisations have in abundance today. It can be used for a wide variety of functions, from informing strategy to streamlining operations. However, particularly given the volume of data that is available, it has become crucial for businesses to have an infrastructure in place to get the most from that data. A reporting and planning platform is just such a tool – a way to take control of a finance system and its data, to reduce manual tasks, generate actionable insights and enable better performance.
How does a reporting and planning platform enable better performance?
Getting to grips with modelling
The advantage of using modelling is that it provides opportunities to see how different scenarios might affect the business in future. This can be used in a myriad of different ways, from looking at how projected sales might affect revenue or the impact of a potential risk. The right reporting and planning platform makes modelling simple and accessible, from cash flow forecasting to scenario planning.
Taking control of planning
For businesses still using a range of data sources for planning, such as spreadsheets, financial planning can be a laborious and time consuming affair. A reporting and planning platform streamlines planning functions, centralising all the relevant data, allowing greater control over financial planning and providing effective tools to enable analysis and projection, as well as identifying key insights that may not previously have been obvious.
Improving budgeting and forecasting
Basic budgeting and forecasting can be managed through the use of spreadsheets, especially when the business is new or small. However, as soon as any volume or complexity is introduced they become a difficult tool to work with. Spreadsheets don’t integrate any kind of workflow – which is something that is inherent in a reporting and planning platform – and there is no way to manage or speed up approvals using spreadsheets. Reporting using spreadsheets takes a lot of manual effort and is often very vulnerable to mistakes and errors that can throw figures off, both in current and future projections. A dedicated planning and reporting platform organises and refines data, enabling reports to be compiled in a way that can be used specifically to help improve performance.
Customisation is simple
Reporting and planning are functions that are very specific to every individual organisation – and yet many still use generic solutions that can’t be tailored for individual details and need. With the right reporting and planning platform, customisation is simple. A more flexible approach to the way that information is compiled is essential for ensuring that analysis and databases present information in the way that is likely to be the most useful for the business when it comes to meeting performance goals.
Few businesses today doubt the link between data, actionable insights and performance improvement. However, without the right tools many still fail to get the most from key data to turn it into something tangible. A reporting and planning platform is a tool perfectly designed to make an impact where performance is concerned.