Productivity is one of the most fundamental metrics used to measure team performance and yet very little progress has been made in Excel-based forecasting in decades. The obstacles to productivity in Excel-based forecasting, however, are well known to Forecasters and their customers.
Forecasters are often overwhelmed by manual and repetitive tasks around version control, offline Excel workbook management, data refreshes, scenario comparisons and creating PowerPoint decks. In an age where Analytics teams seem to be shrinking and expectations continue to grow, inefficiencies in Forecasting can have major impacts on the use of scarce Analytics resources. Even the most rudimentary analysis of time allocations on a monthly basis, reveal potential impacts to productivity of 20-45% based on low to no value tasks.
Improvements in productivity is one of the highest benefits of an enabling technology.
An Enterprise Forecasting platform can provide significant gains in productivity by simply automating manual tasks. This can often lead to 70-90% reductions in resource investments for similar tasks, thanks to automation. Not only is there a benefit to productivity, but those resources can now be invested in driving business results which will be explored more fully in the Forecast Process Improvement framework.
i2e by Scarsin has targeted many of these inefficiencies by leveraging Microsoft Office connected to an enterprise database. So manual tasks (data updates, model change management, PowerPoint reporting…) are all automated. This also benefits the speed at which insights are generated for decision makers.