Integrated Planning & Analytics - Board

Integrated planning and analytics is the essential foundation for decision-making 

Insights from BARC and Board’s exclusive market study (part 1) 

Integrated corporate planning is becoming increasingly important. Especially now, decision-makers need short-term transparency about what is happening as well as access to relevant data. To achieve this, the finance department must update data at short notice and, if necessary, integrate new data sources quickly.  

Companies should also address the topics of scenario building and forecasting more comprehensively and more quickly because increasing dynamics and growing time pressures are forcing companies to update their targets and forecasts at ever shorter intervals. In short, integrated corporate planning and analytics is a must. 

Companies are aware of the value provided by corporate planning. Sponsored by Board, the BARC study Integrated and Predictive – The Future of Corporate Planning examines the approaches and obstacles to implementing integrated corporate planning. BARC and Board surveyed more than 400 companies of various sizes and industry sectors. This exclusive market study focuses on the importance of corporate planning and identifying the challenges and risks companies are currently facing.  

55% of companies stated that the integration of strategic and operational planning offers high added valued. 36% even described the integration of plans as essential for the future”.  

How can companies master these new requirements? 

Comprehensive integration of planning and analytics is an essential condition for holistic corporate management, the use of modern planning approaches and properly functioning performance management.  

Integrated corporate planning and analytics quickly provides reliable and relevant information for corporate management, but only when companies address all four of the following themes simultaneously. 

Integrated Planning & Analytics - Board

– The Integration of Strategy Management 

The objectives and assumptions from strategic planning must automatically be incorporated into annual planning. This is the only way to ensure that a company’s long-term goals are consistent with its medium and short-term goals. Corporate strategy provides the framework for annual planning and budgeting. It is essential to fully convey the strategic guidelines into the detailed data of annual planning to provide orientation and content for tactical and operational management. 

2 – The Integration of Annual Planning and Budgeting 

Forecasts or predictions at ever shorter intervals ensure that decisions are based on the latest information available. The integration and intertwining of annual corporate planning with forecasts during the year is essential for integrated and transparent management. Predictive planning and forecasting driven by predictive analytics and machine learning is currently gaining rapidly in importance in this area 

3 – The Integration of Operational Planning with Financial Planning 

The core of integrated corporate planning is the technically and economically correct linking of all sub-plans. Only this integration can ensure that the planning model represents an accurate image of the company and its environment and is therefore suitable for the best possible alignment with all internal and external relationships.  

4 – The Integration of Planning with Analytics 

The integration of planning with analytics (e.g. reporting, analysis and/or dashboards) and other performance management processes (e.g. consolidation and risk management) is an essential prerequisite for holistic corporate management.  

Only when all four points have been addressed can the comprehensive and – at the same time – efficient verification of the achievement of objectives as well as the successful application of statistical methods and machine learning in planning and forecasting take place. 

Integrated planning and analytics is the essential foundation for decision-making.  

Learn more

Continue reading and learn, in the second part of this blog series, why the integration of planning with analytics and automating processes are top priorities for companies in corporate planning.

The third part of this blog series explores why predictive planning and forecasting promises to be the future of corporate planning.