One of the many benefits of IBM® Planning Analytics is its ability to provide the required data to answer any questions posed by the business function of your company.

Unlike spreadsheet-based models, which need trawling through to gather any data not relating to the main KPIs, Planning Analytics can group granular levels of data together in any required dimensions. This is possible when the financial modelling is well thought through in advance.

With access to all of the data within their grasp, the finance function is no longer adding to colleagues’ frustrations – often at busy times of the month – by not being able to immediately provide answers without a huge amount of manual work. In itself, this is a huge benefit, but answering the initial questions is just the first step of the journey; it’s often a conversation starter rather than conclusion.

Once other areas of the business are provided with the information they were seeking, they become empowered to ask further questions. The original need has been met but the response has opened up further avenues of thought to explore and curiosity has been triggered. This is where the process becomes exciting and potentially profitable as answers to new, previously unthought of, questions create possibilities within the business.

With more exploration of the data and the solutions and inspiration it holds, comes more creative solutions; once you start to interrogate the status quo and understand the forces behind it you can challenge it and move in new directions. This is where Planning Analytics enables the finance team to step out of isolation and work more in conjunction with the traditionally more creative side of the business.

Entrepreneurial and growth behaviour rely on ‘what-if’ thinking and the ability to work all possible scenarios through to their natural conclusions. Historically this has depended on a lot of guesswork and unqualified assumptions. Being able to confirm expectations in real time makes it possible for the analytical, detail-orientated side of the business to enable the more creative side of the planning process whilst also ensuring all assumptions are based in fact, drawing from the underlying data.

If you’d like your finance function to evolve from being seen as holding up discussions through an inability to provide immediate answers to becoming a crucial, integrated part of the wider decision-making process for your business, get in touch with us today.

Simon Bradshaw

I have worked in finance and business systems development since 2001 and am an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. In 2016 I became a founding member of Spitfire Analytics, a consultancy specialising in IBM Planning Analytics. We are committed to building long-term relationships across all industries. I focus on my CPD through CIMA and IBM badges, ensuring I am always abreast of best practice and developments within the industry.


Working with Spitfire Analytics has resulted in the Finance Team becoming an integral part of the business. We are now able to provide analysis and strategic advice on the future direction of the business, rather than spending our time poring over endless spreadsheets.

- Lee Boyle, Finance Director (Engineering), NG Bailey

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