Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Profitability Analytics: Reach for the Cloud

Guest Author

by Bart Stoehr, Senior Director, Product Management, Oracle

Previously we pointed out the two categories associated with implementation failures in the development of meaningful profitability analytics. Basically, we identified problems associated with culture—throughout the organization and within the project implementation team—and problems associated with inappropriate use of technology. While cultural problems are incessantly difficult to diagnose and resolve, technology improvements are reducing the barriers to achieving strong profitability analytics.  

What does the system for collecting and reporting profitability analytics look like? We see a couple of common approaches to these systems. The most common approach revolves around an extensive use of spreadsheets.

Although initially quick and relatively simple to start with, the resulting models become difficult to maintain as more information and relationships are defined, and the working knowledge of the models is confined to small group of individuals. Often, the loss of one key member renders the model useless.

The Urgency to Ditch Spreadsheet Dependency

Larger organizations, in particular, have historically been able to take advantage of purpose-built profitability solutions. They are also more likely to have the resources to surround this calculation engine with data warehouse capability and advanced reporting technology. While the results are impressive, the resulting complex environment requires a large amount IT support. This level of IT support is rarely available to small and medium size business.

OK. So how do we make this level of solution available to any organization, irrespective of size or internal IT support? Cloud delivery removes the technology barrier.

Cloud technology makes purpose-built solutions available to small and medium enterprises. These cloud solutions: 

  • Are financially affordable
  • Do not require heavy investment in IT resources (neither infrastructure nor people)
  • Shorten time to value (the software is available quickly)
  • Bundles together all available functionality (calculation, storage, analytics)

Of course, larger organizations can also benefit from these cloud advantages, and they can align the solution into their enterprise performance management (EPM) tools—on premises, or in the cloud.

What should a profitability analytics cloud solution include? We will follow up with some thoughts in a subsequent post. In the meantime, I invite you register for Oracle OpenWorld, where the latest product information will be available in our EPM sessions

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Srini Chinnam Monday, September 5, 2016
    Profitability Analytics in cloud a promising platform for organizations looking for faster implementations in this area
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