Tis that time of year again when the leaves change colors and the temperatures change. With the change of mother nature comes the beginning of budget season. The favorite time of every manager and finance department to start budgets and try to forecast what is going to happen the next year. There are several ways forecast what is going to happen. One of the most common is to take last year results and to increase revenue by x % and then then reduce the cost by y%. My question is does that really happen. I know from my experience that many times it is the opposite of what we really do. The question we all want to know is how can I automate and get the best picture of what is going to happen. There are several ways you can forecast but we will only cover 3 of them. If you would like to discuss more please let me know and we can discuss all of the options.
- Strategy and Data Science – The first one is probably one of the most important because you need to know where your company is going and how you are going to get there. Then you can use many of the data science tools to help not only where you have been and what are the factors or variables behind your past results and why you got those results. Then also forecasting based off of the strategy and many other factors to help not only drive financial result but operations and C level decisions that need to be made to make sure we stay on track. These tools are the key to really generating a great budget that investors and stakeholders are going to want to see. Not just what we want to present but really what is going to happen with the company.
2. Data base tools – This is the gaining access to your budget tools. If you can unrestricted access to your data and be able to use the tools in key #1 and then start to see what has happened historically and then combining that with R&D and many other features or products that you might be offering and what has happened to those products in the past and what will happen this year and the years to come. The data base tools is really makes #1 work as you start to use the tools from data science and start to drive the kind of reports you want to develop. If you do not have access to this data or know how to use it then you will be very limited into your budget process. You have to access to the data both on a detail level and also on a overall view.
3. The last one is the automation of the data tools, data science, and strategy. When you combine all of these tools together and start to use many of the workflows or other tools that area available to many of these systems. Then you can start to automate the process because you can use things like excel or other spreadsheets because they are the most common but you can also use many of the features that are part of the advanced systems. The great part of this step is that it does take time to set up but once you have it automated then you will pretty much be able to do whatever you are want with your budget and make it do circles or jumping jacks. That is the power behind all three of these. System is that you will have a budget that is power and one that you can easily change as the live data comes available for you.
As you see the processes are not terribly hard to use or hard to use . There are several professionals that know how to use these tools and is really powerful and gives you access to your data in new ways that you have only dreamed of before. As you do this you will wonder why you did not do this sooner. If you would like to talk about how these tools work together or talk about your needs in your company.