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Financial Planning and Analysis: How to Make Confident Decisions in SAP Analytics Cloud

September 29, 2020

Thierry Audas Thierry Audas
Thierry Audas is a Senior Director of Product Marketing with SAP and focuses on business intelligence and analytics.

To win in fast-moving markets, you need rapid access to information that enables you to take decisive action and adapt quickly to rapid change.

But if you’re relying on outdated financial planning and analysis solutions (FP&A) and disconnected spreadsheets, you can’t maintain the agility you need to make confident decisions.

To become an intelligent enterprise, you need immediate access to live data and the ability to translate that data into meaningful insights that help you make the right decisions and make your business more intelligent.

How do we achieve that?

Traditional financial planning and analysis challenges

To overcome these challenges, businesses need more than Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, which present a myriad of problems for users, such as:

  • Too much manual work. Increased manual work reduces productivity and bottlenecks decision making.
  • Combining forecasts is a challenge. If different users are forecasting in different versions, it is challenging to combine their data.
  • Collaboration. How do users self-organize to work on individual parts of the forecast?
  • Decentralized. No single source of truth across an entire organization.

To solve for some of these problems, forecast teams will sometimes create their own offline forecast versions, which defeats security, impedes collaboration, and increases inefficiencies.

What’s more, these issues only become magnified as an organization grows and expands in complexity.

Simple Cloud-based planning

There’s a better way to plan. It not only reduces these inefficiencies – it improves processes, speeds up productivity, and your teams can enjoy enhanced collaboration across the organization.

And all of these capabilities are offered in cloud-based planning tools. Which means, no more silos, no more endless consolidation efforts:

  • Live connectivity from a single analytics solution for real time insights and more accurate decisions
  • Access to all business data across the enterprise with 360-degree insights
  • Planning, analysis, and predictions all in one place to make end-to-end decisions

When you leverage an end-to-end cloud-based solution, you experience collaborative enterprise planning at its best.

how to become an intelligent enterprise

And the good news? The planning and analysis capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud are integrated to SAP/4HANA Cloud.

These new data actions and pre-built content for FP&A enable our users to orchestrate and execute multi-step planning processes within a single system, without moving from tool to tool and getting lost in multiple spreadsheets.

Live connectivity for in-context intelligence across the enterprise

A cloud-based solution can help you make more accurate, data-informed decisions faster thanks to real time insights from live connectivity. This kind of up-to-the-minute information from live connectivity lets organizations make smarter decisions and better understand their operations.

For instance, with SAP S/4HANA, you can provide live insights into the data that drives critical finance and supply chain processes.

What’s more, SAP Analytics Cloud combines data from other SAP solutions as well as third-party sources to deliver insights.

Access to all business data across the enterprise

Having a 360-degree view of your business means you can see everything around you with no angles, no blind sports. When you know everything you need to about your business, you’re better equipped to make sound, strategic decisions.

For instance, SAP Analytics Cloud enables organizations to leverage predictive planning to understand their past and present data to better predict future, comprehensive outcomes for their business.

Access powerful analytic capabilities in a unified solution

All that in-context intelligence won’t mean anything if you don’t have the ability to access and share all your business data across your enterprise.

A single source of truth offers unprecedented levels of organization-wide collaboration. When every individual can work simultaneously from one platform, it:

  • Cuts out inefficiencies and discrepancies
  • Allows teams to collaborate in real-time
  • Breaks down data silos
  • Unifies plans
  • Aligns processes

An end-to-end cloud-based solution is ideal for users to analyze, plan, discover, and predict, all in one. A single model provides efficiency for both ad hoc decisions and long-term planning. Even better, it can be adopted across all business functions.

SAP Analytics Cloud allows your teams to align and connect planning processes across your entire organization. In fact, it is the only cloud analytics solution that provides a unified solution for planning, offering integration with a range of SAP sources allowing for seamless data flows of trusted, harmonized data.

Putting it all together

To become an intelligent enterprise demands a different way of thinking and a move towards insight supported by machine learning and predictive analytics to drive strategic initiatives.

An Intelligent solution such as SAP Analytics Cloud brings together planning and analysis, augmented analytics and business intelligence capabilities in one easily accessible application, eliminating the need to gather data from disparate tools and spreadsheets.

By leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, businesses can become intelligent enterprises, supporting the organization to make smarter decisions based on analytics delivered in real-time. Organizations that seize the opportunity offered by digital transformation and embrace the benefits of cloud analytics will quickly reap the rewards and move towards their goal of becoming an intelligent enterprise.