A common misnomer is that integrating Intelligent Forecasting into a company’s business planning process inherently causes significant disruption within a company’s current operating systems and technology stack – most notably, within their operational software. This fear can lead business leaders to hesitate in updating their forecasting process, with potentially significant consequences. But, in reality, companies can seamlessly integrate intelligent platforms into most technology stacks with limited disruption, all while adding significant benefits to an organization.
In this Q&A, Rich Wagner, Prevedere CEO, answers questions about the logistics of integrating Intelligent Forecasting into an organization’s existing operational practices as well as the benefits of doing so.
Q: What does it mean to operationalize Intelligent Forecasting?
Intelligent Forecasting leverages data from internal and external sources, applies machine learning algorithms, and generates predictive intelligence from which companies can mitigate risk and maximize opportunity. To operationalize Intelligent Forecasting is to use the predictive intelligence gleaned consistently in the planning process to make better decisions on an ongoing basis. Once operationalized, it can appear in many different formats, such as a standalone cloud-based system or a PDF report.
Q: Do Intelligent Forecasting solutions connect to traditional planning tools?
Today’s technologies and best-of-breed applications, like our Intelligent Forecasting solution, are all typically very open. Because of this, they easily connect to the traditional planning and forecasting tools that businesses may already have. Like many others, Prevedere’s solution has an open API which means that we can share data back and forth with current systems to keep all of a company’s data consistent with the format with which they typically plan. Our system integrates into software such as SAP, Hyperion, Anaplan, and Workday. Prevedere also helps companies develop reports in visualization tools such as Power BI and Tableau to ensure that the output remains in their dashboard of choice.
Q: What types of forecasting does Intelligent Forecasting improve?
Intelligent Forecasting improves many different types of forecasting. This is important because businesses don’t create just one type of forecast. They may do strategic planning for more extended periods or multiple years, quarterly planning, and monthly forecast updates. Those forecasts are in addition to demand forecasts, sales and marketing activities on category and brand forecasting, etc. External insights and the predictive models that Intelligent Forecasting provides can improve each of these planning processes. Operationalizing Intelligent Forecasting is about having that critical information available during planning meetings.
Q: How does Intelligent Forecasting enhance a company’s current process for forecasting and business planning?
Simply put, Intelligent Forecasting will provide more fact-based and data-driven insights, which helps remove bias in the planning process. Maybe it is somebody’s nature to be either very optimistic or sandbag consistently. Intelligent Forecasting removes, or at least minimizes, the bias and guesswork to help companies get a clear picture of what drives their business.
About Rich Wagner, Prevedere CEO
Rich’s career spans more than 20 years of technology innovation and leadership, during which he has provided extraordinary value to global enterprise companies. In 2012, Rich launched Prevedére to provide corporations worldwide the ability to significantly improve their financial forecasts, projections and reporting capabilities combining internal and related global external data. With Prevedere, companies gain a competitive advantage because they are able to generate profitable business insights with accurate forecasting that encompasses ever-changing external factors.
Prior to Prevedere, Rich was Director of IT Innovation and Strategy for Momentive, a global leader in Specialty Chemicals. While at Momentive, Rich noticed a significant void in the ways companies managed financial planning and analytics, which led to the birth of Prevedere’s innovative SaaS solution that ensures companies are looking at the right factors that drive business revenue and profit.
As a forward-thinking predictive analytics thought leader, Rich has contributed to publications such as ChiefExecutive, Supply and Demand Chain Executive, Wired, Manufacturing Business Technology, CMSWire, Website Magazine and FORBES.