For many years the CPM Team (Finance) and BI Team(Operations) has had a tug of war over what data is the best measurement for sales, cost of goods and expenditures. By nature, Finance and Operations are focused on measuring different metrics, but does the data sources have to be different? The answer has been a unified ‘YES’, but maybe not any longer. This table outlines the traditional data sources and focus of analysis:
The table highlights that not only are the data source they have historically been looking at, very different, but also the type of metrics they are measuring. However, the cost of keeping two silos are known to be in the 100’s of thousands for many organizations.
At the cost of accuracy in the accounting data is the limited analysis that can be performed based on this data material due to lack of dimensional richness supported in these numbers. The Operations data sources on the other hand is full of data descriptors and attributes about date, type of purchase, payment methods, store is, and cash register number.
Nobody denies the fact that Financial Performance data has to be created and presented for SEC XBRL filings, earnings call and investor information, however it is undeniable that for internal reporting and analysis, it is being put to solve tasks that the data simply can not answer. Analysts viewpoint is that with new tools and technologies, financial data should be substituted with more rich operations data sources for the purpose for Financial Performance, Budgeting, Forecasting and Strategic Planning processes. When organizations revert to richer data in traditional Corporate Performance Data Processes, everybody will benefit, and have a better data material for making important corporate decisions based on the same level, detailed, agreed upon, and reconciled information.
Self Service Brings it Together
With the ability for Business Analysts and Key Stakeholders to use tools like Power Query, Power BI and Excel to collect data from diverse reliable resources, the Self Service BI is now flourishing in corporations. IT is turning into the Expert Advisory Role, while Users and Stakeholders are able to gain better insight into analytical information by combining Financial information with Twitter Feeds, freely available data sources like census data, and marketing spend information from Marketing on where the marketing dollars where actually spent, and detailed consumer behavior information. This opens up new insights that shouldn’t be ignored by companies. The ones who do, are missing out on great insights that competition might take advantage of.
Our Hyperion clients are currently converting all their valuable information in Hyperion to Power BI. The arguments for moving to a BI solution are driven by richer, faster, and better data, with ‘Free Cloud’ services to host the solutions. One client saves hundreds of thousands in just maintenance costs by utilizing Power BI and Power Planner in the new CPM/BI framework.
Some Examples of using one tool:
Under our CPM and BI blog category, we will continue to post new implemented models that takes traditional Finance topics and shows how to solve them, including free usable templates, in Excel and Power BI using rich and diverse data sources, yet reconciling to the ERP and Finance Data sources. Come back to view more articles over the next few days.