I talked with Lauri Kyykoski and Mika Nevalainen, who are Business Controllers and main users of IBM Planning Analytics at our client Barona. My intent was to figure out how the daily life has been like with Planning Analytics since the implementation of the solution. The solution had been implemented four years before the interview.
“I started working at Barona right after the Planning Analytics had been implemented here. Compared to my previous jobs as a controller, the main difference is that I don’t have to play around with Excel files. I can show all monthly numbers straight from the system, and the visualisation abilities of the system are sufficient.” Nevalainen explains.
“With Planning Analytics, we have considerably increased our automatization of reporting. The technological development and increased automatization have enabled the advancement of our reporting. Now, our reporting is more detailed and multidimensional, and our work is more focused on developing the economic planning instead of writing reports,” Kyykoski adds.
“We can do small changes in the finished script itself and some ‘business rules’, if needed. We can quickly figure out the most likely cause for a mistake, which enables us to approach the Intito experts with specific questions. A concrete example of independent work is a situation, where the Intito expert shows how one KPI is made, and that we do the rest ourselves,” says Nevalainen.
“I am familiar with our entire environment and its basic logic, and also how things are combined in a technical sense. By interpreting the script, I can quite easily determine, where the problem is and fix it. I still have the Intito Planning Analytics training papers on my desk, and they work as great aids, when I start working on it. Despite all this, we do fairly little coding ourselves. We are in contact with Intito’s xPA team (Extended Planning and Analysis team), especially with the larger and more complex changes”, Kyykoski explains.
“Unfortunately, not everyone of us has the courage to explore all Planning Analytics is able to do quite effortlessly. The system offers a lot of opportunities, but people don’t know how to ask for them, and us main users have a big responsibility in resolving even the small challenges in usability,” Lauri discusses and continues: “I still think that working with Planning Analytic is pleasant. The solution enables our complex group reporting and serves our needs well.”
“Working with Planning Analytics is not as difficult, as it might seem at first. You can get surprisingly far with trying, asking, and Google. Together with Intito, we have customized the solution to suit our needs, so that working with it would be as simple as possible,” Nevalainen ends with.
The story of Bravedo, formerly known as Baron Group, “From Laborious Budgeting into Agile Planning from Cloud” explains in more detail, how IBM Planning Analytics changed planning at Bravedo.