Forecasting meetings are happening in most businesses this month as we prepare for the coming year. Management would like to know how much your team is going to sell each quarter and they will expect you to meet and exceed those numbers. Forecasting can become a guessing game unless you have tools that help you to make realistic projections based on historical data.
Business intelligence (BI) can be easily customized to reflect your specific needs. For instance, when planning a budget for the coming year, BI can automatically start with annualized actuals from the current year. Year-over-year adjustments can be applied across-the-board and fine-tuned. For example, if a manager projects a 5% increase in sales, that increase can be filled in for the whole year. The change will propagate to every period and sub-account and can then be fine-tuned. If the first quarter will show a smaller increase, the manager can use the same automatic function to adjust increases by quarter.
Users can do forecasting and budgeting with any combination of sales parameters, such as salesperson, product category, product and customer. Any kind of time parameters can be used, such as days, weeks or months. BI can populate future budgeting and forecasting amounts based on prior actuals or from information from an outside source (like customer feedback) or a combination of both. Later, users are able to monitor actuals versus budgets for any time period. The system can also be set up to work with a large number of ―official and ―provisional budget/forecasting versions.