January 18, 2018 Hesam Ziaei

Business modelling and planning leveraging Power BI

Business modelling, forecasting, and planning are critical components of a business’ ability to grow in accordance with future demands and opportunities. Many of the businesses we have worked with often had these operations running on conventional, unsynchronized methods and tools – largely ineffective. This is why we’ve seen many businesses transition towards leveraging the power of Power BI. In this piece, we articulate several ways through which you can leverage Power BI’s capabilities via Acterys to enhance your business modelling and planning operations.

Let’s dive in further!

Simulate and forecast new product/service additions and acquisitions

A big part of planning involves being able to foresee the implications of new activities you plan on trying out. In the past, we have worked with businesses that were looking to roll out new products and undergo acquisitions that would fundamentally alter their operations. While change is inevitable, what our clients always wanted to know is how these changes would impact them.

With Acterys in place, and its Power BI capabilities, we have been able to help clients accurately simulate and model what impact adding a new product or service, or any other activity, would have on their businesses. The user-friendliness of the system makes this an even more seamless process.

Advanced financial consolidation – pull data from multiple data sources 

One of the biggest advantages our clients point to about Acterys is its ability easily facilitate financial consolidation. The process of financial consolidation is essentially the combining of critical financial data from all the departments or business entities within your organization. However, the problem that many clients face is that a lot of this data is held within multiple applications and data sources, which can make consolidating this data very difficult.

Upon implementing Acterys, all our clients have touted the application’s data consolidation capabilities as one of its greatest features. Given that most companies would have to pull data from both their financial entities and non-financial entities (marketing, HR), having a system in place that automates this is a big bonus. The stunning visuals that Power BI facilitate are also great complements to the overall user experience.

Identify driving factors and test them out in models

Over time, as you continue to evaluate the performance of your business, several driving and catalytic factors can be identified. These factors could either drive greater opportunities for your business, or, they could hinder them entirely. Acterys gives you complete visibility into your operations and its underlying trends.

One of the best advantages of Acterys is that you can test the impact of these factors out via the application’s modelling functionality to determine the long-term implications of these factors. Power BI’s visual interface’s sliders have allowed our client’s users to easily and interactively adjust their models to test out implications. The ability to use this level of analysis has allowed our clients to extensively test out scenarios, prior to implementing them – thereby assuring their feasibility, with limited risks involved.

Add new calculations via the powerful rules engine

While several systems exist in the planning space, one of the major downsides is the limited flexibility provided in the way business users can adjust and work with their data. This limitation may exist due to the system’s overall rigidity or the lack of a powerful rules engine. These limitations may include difficulty in adding new calculations, outside of the built-in functions and data calculation options, which could further hinder the user’s ability to collate and organize data.

However, with our Power BI-leveraged Acterys application, our clients have been able to seamlessly add calculations to meet their needs and data presentation. This helps the overall business modelling and planning process because now companies have additional ways to organize and showcase data. Our AP system utilizes it own powerful in-memory OLAP engine, built on the time-tested Microsoft SQL platform, that gives it the ability to enjoy unparalleled performance when it comes to data modelling.

Planning and modelling requires a system that has the capacity to consolidate, identify, and model key data points in a way that provides value insights to businesses and the various functions within them. Without the right system in place, many businesses struggle with an incomplete modelling platform that fails to prepare them for future demands and opportunities. However, having implemented Acterys, many of our clients have enhanced and streamlined their processes significantly! If you would like more information on how an effective financial planning tool could benefit you further? Feel free to reach out to us at any time!

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