Latest research from BARC’s analyst team

Sound Decisions in Dynamic Times cover

Press Release: Fast Results Are a Must for Corporate Management

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, September 29th, 2020

BARC (Business Application Research Center) today published the results of its topical survey “Sound Decisions in Dynamic Times – Forecasts and Simulations Support Modern Corporate Management”. The user survey of 275 companies examines how companies are adapting to an increasingly dynamic environment. The study is available for download thanks to sponsorship by Board, Corporate Planning, Cubeware, Jedox, OneStream and Unit4.

Key findings

  • #1: Static methods and outdated tools fail in a dynamic environment
  • #2: Forecasts are replacing classical budgeting as the central instrument for corporate management
  • #3: Simulations are the basis for the sound analysis and evaluation of action alternatives, opportunities and risks

Constant change is the only constant in volatile times

The dynamics to which companies are exposed are being massively increased, not least by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The rapidity with which COVID-19 has overturned many things previously considered safe has brought the challenges of dynamics, volatility and complexity painfully back into focus.

As expected, 89 percent of the survey participants confirmed that the dynamics in their field of business have increased in recent years. This applies generally to all company sizes and industries. Only a few organizations from the public sector reported a constant dynamic (23 percent). “Due to enormous upheavals in the markets, many established approaches to corporate management are coming under increasing pressure,” said Dr. Christian Fuchs, Senior Data & Analytics Analyst at BARC and co-author of the study.

Planning dynamics

Figure 1: How have the dynamics in your business field developed in recent years? (n=274) © BARC


Greater efficiency and effectiveness through acceleration, integration and automation

In order to withstand the increasing dynamics and pressure and remain capable of making decisions, half of the companies surveyed said they need to update their plans and forecasts more frequently. Many are therefore converting classic year-end forecasts to rolling forecasts (42 percent), which significantly improves their contribution to controlling.

The increased automation of forecasts is another means of enabling more meaningful simulations according to 43 percent. “Greater automation must always be critically examined, especially in the context of dynamics. While automation reduces reaction times and increases the transparency and consistency of results, it can also inhibit flexibility,” explained Robert Tischler, Senior Data & Analytics Analyst at BARC and co-author of the study. “Systems with sophisticated automation can therefore fail due to rapidly changing requirements. In practice, the solution for this is often found in Excel, which is not usually conducive to quality, efficiency and satisfaction.”

Dynamic planning measures

Figure 2: What measures are needed to align planning and forecasting to a more dynamic business environment? (n=275) © BARC

Dynamics describes the degree of change and increasing competitive pressure in markets. It is caused by innovation as well as changing social and political conditions. The development of highly dynamic markets is not fully predictable. Dynamics in markets have been rising for a long time and companies are feeling increasing pressure as a result.

About the survey

Sound Decisions in Dynamic Times – Forecasts and Simulations Support Modern Corporate Management” is a BARC market research study that addresses the current status of forecasts and simulations, and examines which measures need to be taken in order to use them effectively. It is based on a worldwide survey of 275 companies of varying sizes across all industry sectors. The authors of the study are Dr. Christian Fuchs and Robert Tischler, Senior Data & Analytics Analysts at BARC.

Useful links

Further information about “Sound Decisions in Dynamic Times – Forecasts and Simulations Support Modern Corporate Management”
Infographic

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

Sound Decisions in Dynamic Times cover

Infographic: “Sound Decisions in Dynamic Times – Forecasts and Simulations Support Modern Corporate Management”

Markets and competition are highly dynamic, complex and characterized by uncertainty which is currently at the forefront of everyone‘s minds. Satisfying customer needs and securing solvency both require quick decisions and decisive action.

BARC’s study “Sound Decisions in Dynamic Times” is based on a survey of 275 decision-makers worldwide. It examines how organizations are adapting and improving their corporate planning to meet these challenges.

Here, BARC offers 5 recommendations based on findings from the survey.

Find out more and download the full study.

Infographic: Dynamic Planning

 

Find out more and download the full study.

Data Management Survey 20 cover page

The Software Works Fine – Organizational Problems Are The Main Barrier to Effective Data Management

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, September 24th, 2020

The analyst firm BARC published The Data Management Survey 20 today. The second edition of this annual study analyzes feedback from a survey of 782 professionals on the selection and use of data management software.

One in three companies claim to have no significant problems with their data management software and technological problems in general are rare. About one in ten bemoan overcomplexity in development and operation or inflexible licensing models. However, the most common problems reported by data management users are organizational in nature. 26% of survey respondents cite a lack of internal know-how as a problem. Organizational challenges and company politics are also experienced by 19% and 16% respectively.

“This comes as no great surprise,” said Timm Grosser, Senior BARC Analyst and author of The Data Management Survey 20. “In other BARC surveys, companies frequently complain of a knowledge gap and a lack of maturity. Building up the right skills seems to be a general issue, which for some companies cannot be fully addressed by external resources. After all, there is a lack of skilled workers in this market. Right now, there is clearly a discrepancy between the potential of software in principle and the added value that is being achieved with it in reality.”

Data management application areas

Figure 1: What, if any, are the most serious problems you have encountered in the use of your product? (n=609)
 

Customers use data management tools for classic business intelligence tasks – the adoption of trends is limited

The focus on business intelligence (BI) is clearly evident when looking at the tasks performed with data management tools. Data integration is performed by 61% of survey participants and BI/data warehousing by 59%.

“This may be due to a general BI focus in the panel of respondents or possibly a sign of the maturity level of participating companies,” said Grosser. “Alternatively, it could be interpreted that experience with technologies for data labs is not yet widespread. Our experience shows that some organizations are well aware of lab technologies, but there are still a lot of open questions relating to data science.”

37% of respondents use their technology for data warehouse automation (DWA). Regardless of whether a database, a data integration tool or a special DWA tool is used, the automation of data warehouse routine activities appears to be an important goal.

Comparing the opinions of user companies with those of software vendors, it seems that providers have a rather premature view of current customer requirements. Vendors tend to view their tools as being suitable in topical areas such as self-service analytics (39%), data discovery (38%) and even advanced analytics/machine learning/AI (37%) and data cataloging (32%). However, the latter two topics in particular are not yet on the agenda of users.

Figure 2: For which scenarios/application areas do you use your product? (n=630/87)

About the study

The Data Management Survey 20 is the second edition of BARC’s annual study of the data management software market. The study is based on a worldwide survey of 782 data management professionals, which addressed questions about their software selection, implementation and usage. Detailed feedback on 12 leading data management products is analyzed and compared.

For more information, visit:
https://bi-survey.com/data-management-survey-about

For aggregated product-related results and an online product comparison tool, visit:
https://bi-survey.com/data-management-software-comparison

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Mark Handford
Tel.: +44 (0)1536 772 451
E-Mail: mhandford@barc-research.com

BARC Score Analytics for Business Users chart

Press Release: Analytics by and for Business Users for Fast Information Flow

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, September 7th, 2020

Analyst firm publishes the first edition of ‘BARC Score Analytics for Business Users’

  • – For the first time, BARC evaluates 17 market-relevant platforms for self-service analytics
  • – Business users expect to be able to create everything from data source to dashboard in one integrated tool
  • – Comprehensive platforms can do more than specialized tools, but their usability needs to improve

The analyst firm BARC (Business Application Research Center) presents BARC Score Analytics for Business Users – Platforms for Governed Self-Service Analytics. This new report – written by BARC experts Robert Tischler, Larissa Baier and Dr. Carsten Bange – examines and compares 17 globally relevant manufacturers of self-service analytics platforms. The evaluation of these providers and accompanying analyst commentary are available now.

“We at BARC see that neither ‘centralistic’ BI suites nor isolated tools for data visualization fully meet the requirements of modern business management. BARC Score Analytics for Business Users addresses exactly this issue. We evaluate tools according to their flexibility for business users, their ease of use and their suitability for enterprise-wide use – for the democratization of data usage,” said author Robert Tischler.

Today’s business users expect maximum flexibility and – at the same time – support from professionals, especially for maintenance and operation. Modern platforms for analytics by business users must be very easy to use, but at the same time support the entire analytical cycle seamlessly within one tool. In order to securely share and reuse data sets and dashboards, a unified platform must be available – this is the only way to ensure that information can circulate quickly within the company and reach the relevant decision-makers at the right time, where it can then be used profitably. Access to important data without barriers is essential for the democratization of data use.

BARC Score Analytics for Business Users chart

Positioning of providers in BARC Score Analytics for Business Users 2020, © BARC

 

The first issue of BARC Score Analytics for Business Users examines the solutions of the following 17 market-relevant manufacturers based on their strengths and weaknesses: Domo, Dundas Data Visualization, IBM, Infor, Information Builders, Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Oracle, Pyramid Analytics, Qlik, SAP, SAS, Sisense, Tableau, ThoughSpot, TIBCO and Yellowfin.

For more information and to purchase the complete software evaluation, please visit:
http://barc-research.com/barc-score/barc-score-analytics-business-users/

About BARC Score

Since 2015, BARC has been classifying providers of business software in various market segments and economic regions. BARC analysts evaluate each vendor meeting a number of technical and financial criteria according to their “Portfolio Capabilities” and “Market Execution”. Behind these two dimensions lie detailed, weighted criteria that determine the placement of the vendors in the BARC Score chart. In addition, BARC draws on the results of user surveys such as The Planning Survey and The BI Survey.

For a concise overview of the market, all vendors are classified in the BARC Score chart in one of five categories: “Dominators”, “Market Leaders”, “Challengers”, “Specialists” and “Entrants”. For more information on BARC Score and the methodology behind it, please visit:
www.barc-research.com/barc-score/.

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Mark Handford
Tel.: +44 (0)1536 772 451
E-Mail: mhandford@barc-research.com

BARC Score BI & Analytics Platforms 2020 chart

Vendors of Modern Enterprise BI & Analytics Platforms Continue to Invest in User Guidance, Machine Learning and Modernization

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, June 29th, 2020

The analyst firm BARC publishes BARC Score Enterprise BI & Analytics Platforms 2020.

  • The sixth edition of BARC Score Enterprise BI & Analytics Platforms – BARC’s at-a-glance evaluation of market-relevant software vendors – is published today.
  • The market for enterprise BI & analytics platforms is growing – the 2020 edition includes two newcomers: Looker and Zoho.
  • Vendors continue to invest more actively in improving business user orientation and user guidance.
  • There is also increased investment in machine learning (ML) to support users, especially in data pre-processing and analysis. However, ML is hardly ever used to optimize/manage the platforms.

BARC Score evaluates and compares 22 vendors of modern enterprise business intelligence and analytics platforms active in the global marketplace. The chart and accompanying software evaluations by BARC experts Larissa Baier, Dr. Christian Fuchs, Patrick Keller, Robert Tischler and Dr. Carsten Bange are now available at www.barc-research.com/bi-score/.

“The market for enterprise BI & analytics platforms is broad and contains many strong solutions. In addition to new providers, a number of specialists are also expanding their product range and thus also managing to gain a foothold. The new BARC Score offers segmentation and assistance in software selection,” said Larissa Baier, BARC Analyst and Head of BARC Scores.

For years, business users in particular have been demanding improved usability and more functions in the analytics environment. All the providers featured in this BARC Score have invested in the improvement of business user orientation and user guidance. Trends such as Natural Language Query (NLQ) and Natural Language Generation (NLG) are intended to support business users in data analysis and interpretation. Business analysts can also increasingly benefit from analytical functions in data preprocessing and analysis. The longer-established solutions are currently undergoing modernization in terms of both user interfaces and architecture.

 

BARC Score BI & Analytics Platforms 2020 chart

Positioning of vendors in the BARC Score Enterprise BI & Analytics Platforms 2020 © BARC

The sixth edition of BARC Score Enterprise BI & Analytics Platforms examines solutions from 22 market-relevant vendors: Board International, Dimensional Insight, Domo, Dundas Data Visualization, IBM, Infor, Information Builders, Looker, Microsoft, MicroStrategy, OpenText, Oracle, Pyramid Analytics, Qlik, SAP, SAS, Sisense, Tableau, TARGIT, TIBCO, Yellowfin and Zoho.

Looker and Zoho appear in the BARC Score rankings for the first time this year, while Domo has moved from the Specialists to the Challengers segment since last year.

For further information and the complete software evaluations click here.

About BARC Score

Since 2015, BARC has been classifying providers of business software in various market segments and economic regions. BARC analysts evaluate each vendor meeting a number of technical and financial criteria according to their “Portfolio Capabilities” and “Market Execution”. Behind these two dimensions lie detailed, weighted criteria that determine the placement of the vendors in the BARC Score chart. In addition, BARC draws on the results of user surveys such as The Planning Survey and The BI Survey.

For a concise overview of the market, all vendors are classified in the BARC Score chart in one of five segments: “Dominators”, “Market Leaders”, “Challengers”, “Specialists” and “Entrants”. For more information on BARC Score and the methodology behind it, please visit:
www.barc-research.com/barc-score/.

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Mark Handford
Tel.: +44 (0)1536 772 451
E-Mail: mhandford@barc-research.com

Leverage Your Data

Companies Need To Take Data Handling To The Next Level

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, June 23rd, 2020

BARC (Business Application Research Center) today published the results of its topical survey “Leverage your data – a data strategy checklist for the journey to the data-driven enterprise”. In the study, BARC analysts Jacqueline Bloemen and Timm Grosser take a close look at how companies are currently handling data and the hurdles along the way to becoming a data-driven enterprise. The full study is available for download free of charge thanks to sponsorship by Ab Initio, Alation, Collibra, Cubeware, Denodo, Tableau and Talend.

Key findings

  • #1: The majority of companies believe that data deserves significantly more attention
  • #2: Effective approaches to improving data handling are known, but rarely applied
  • #3: The benefits of more effective use of data are only gradually emerging

Data deserves greater attention

According to a new BARC survey, companies agree that they could benefit from giving data more attention. 90% of participants point out that information has a high priority in decision-making. Almost the same proportion (87%) state that they could improve their corporate results by optimizing data handling. However, the real value of data is often not transparent enough. Decision-makers in particular have little insight into their data-related problems and the benefits of potential investment. “If companies do not have knowledge of the quality and usability of their data, of course they will find it difficult to assess the value and potential of their data,” said Jacqueline Bloemen, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and co-author of this study.

The study shows that companies are groping in the dark, especially when it comes to data-related processes. 66% of participants state that they waste a lot of time asking the same questions about data or repeating work. Also, it is often unclear who is using what data and for what purpose (61%). Surprisingly, the measures to effectively deal with these challenges seem to be quite clear to most of the companies surveyed. They are aware that more information about their data is needed (59%) and clear responsibilities have to be defined (57%). Nevertheless, when it comes to actually implementing these approaches, most companies have not put their theory into practice yet (see Figure 1).

Leverage Your Data press release - Figure 1

Figure 1: Top four approaches to improving the handling of data (n=419/418) © BARC

It is clear that companies face major hurdles when it comes to implementing new data handling approaches. 52% of participants point out that there is a lack of documentation and knowledge about data. to start. Another issue is that the operational business is prioritized over driving innovation through data (43%) and holding people accountable for handling data (40%).

Companies are not in a situation to benefit significantly from their use of data (yet)

The study shows that companies are currently struggling to gain and maintain an overview of their data. Approaches to improve the situation are known but are proving difficult to carry out in practice. Against this background, it is not surprising that the benefits achieved so far are rather limited (see Figure 2)

Leverage Your Data press release - Figure 2

Figure 2: Top four benefits achieved through approaches to improve the handling of data (n=418) © BARC

None of the benefits listed have been achieved by the majority of survey participants (the highest rating is 37%). A look at best-in-class companies in comparison to laggard companies reveals what could be done better: While both groups are investing in enabling more self-service analysis and providing more information about data, best-in-class companies are doing this more intensively (42 and 38 percent respectively, versus 25 and 24 percent for laggards). For best-in-class companies, further  areas of focused investment include defining clear responsibilities/points of contact for data utilization and providing a business glossary. These measures also foster multidisciplinary collaboration in the utilization of data. While both groups achieve the same ratings for “development of the corporate data culture from “need to know” to “right to know”“ (23 percent), from a relative perspective this point is more important for laggards (third highest rating). In contrast, best-in-class companies invest more in targeting definition and priority steering by senior management (21 percent) than laggards (10 percent). Best-in-class companies are also more likely to invest in data literacy by carrying out targeted staff development and training to promote data and analytics skills (31 percent versus 10 percent for laggards).

“On the bottom line, the message is clear,” said Timm Grosser, Senior Analyst Data & Analytics at BARC and co-author of this study. “Treating data as an asset and collaborating on a multidisciplinary basis requires targeted steering and corresponding processes. This cannot be achieved with a bottom-up approach only. Enabling a data-driven enterprise affects every employee and requires a fundamental cultural change. Executives must want, initiate and actively promote this change.”

About the study

“Leverage Your Data – a data strategy checklist for the journey to the data-driven enterprise ” is a topical BARC survey dealing with companies’ approaches and challenges when seeking to improve their use of data. The study is based on a worldwide survey of more than 400 companies from various industries and of different sizes. The focus of the study is to evaluate what companies are currently doing to reap the potential of their data and to give recommendations for more effective ways of handling data. The authors of the study are Jacqueline Bloemen and Timm Grosser, Senior Analysts for Data & Analytics at BARC.

Useful links

Further information about “Leverage your data – a data strategy checklist for the journey to the data-driven enterprise”
Infographic based on findings from the study
– Download the full study via the sponsors’ websites: AlationDenodoTableau

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

Leverage Your Data

Infographic: “Leverage Your Data – a data strategy checklist for the journey to the data-driven enterprise”

Digitalization is on the agenda of almost every company, and data is the foundation of digitalization.

BARC’s “Leverage Your Data” study is based on a survey of 419 decision-makers worldwide. It examines how companies are maintaining and developing their data assets, the challenges they encounter and the efficacy of the measures taken to address them.

In particular, the experiences of best-in-class companies can be used to inform the development of an individual data strategy for your business.

Here, we offer 5 recommendations for companies looking to embark on the road to becoming a data-driven enterprise.

Click here to find out more and to download the full study.

Infographic - Leverage Your Data

 

Click here to find out more and to download the full study.

The Future of Corporate Planning cover image

Companies Are Ready to Rethink Their Corporate Planning

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, May 28th, 2020

BARC (Business Application Research Center) publishes “Integrated and Predictive – The Future of Corporate Planning”, a survey-based study. It reveals the current status of integrated planning in companies as well as the challenges along the road to successful integration. The full study is available for download free of charge thanks to sponsorship by Board.

Key findings

  • #1: The majority of companies believe that integrated corporate planning is becoming increasingly important
  • #2: In order to integrate planning successfully, challenges have to be tackled at a functional, technical and organizational level
  • #3: Predictive algorithms will be able to provide more accurate forecasts in the future

The value of corporate planning

According to BARC’s research, companies are well aware of the value provided by corporate planning. 55% of companies state that the integration of strategic and operational planning offers high added value. 36% even describe the integration of plans as “essential for the future”. In contrast, only 9% doubt the value of integrated corporate planning. Companies that derive the greatest benefit from their integrated planning are investing heavily in the functional integration of planning and its coupling with analytics, but also in the technology to future-proof their performance management. 66% of survey respondents stated that integrated corporate planning is increasing in importance (see Fig. 1).

The Future of Corporate Planning press release - figure 1

Fig. 1: How is the importance of integrated corporate planning developing in your company? (n=404) © BARC

“We can clearly see that companies are aware of the significance of integrated corporate planning and attach great importance to it, especially with regard to the future. Most want to make a start on integrating corporate planning, but there are several hurdles to tackle along the way”, said Robert Tischer, Senior Data & Analytics Analyst and co-author of this study.

Why does the integration of planning often fail?

BARC’s survey results show that companies face major challenges when it comes to improving corporate planning in order to keep decision-makers informed with plans and forecasts. 45% of participants stated that planning takes place in incompatible or isolated solutions. Master data in separate systems is often inconsistent, which makes automated transfers between sub-plans nearly impossible. This is often a major issue, especially for larger companies.

However, consistent master data is not only about using the right technology. Technical and organizational measures must be taken to create a uniform view of existing data. The second most frequent challenge arises when planning processes are not clearly defined or adequately coordinated (40%). This makes coherent, transparent and automatic integration difficult or even impossible. Only when addressing functional, technical and organizational issues in combination can organizations expect to reap substantial rewards.

Expectations are high for predictive algorithms

A major challenge in corporate planning is to generate meaningful and high-quality planning figures quickly and with little effort. This applies to classic annual planning and budgeting, but increasingly also to short-term forecasting. Many companies are therefore seeking solutions to speed up forecasting and reduce effort. They want to leverage modern planning approaches such as predictive planning and forecasting. 89% of participants rate the current and future significance of predictive technologies and forecasts as “important” or “very important”.

When it comes to rating the potential of predictive algorithms, expectations are equally high. The majority of companies in this study believe that predictive technologies will be able to deliver more accurate forecasts in the future than a human planner today (see Figure 2).

The Future of Corporate Planning press release - figure 2

Figure 2: Do you believe that predictive technologies and algorithms will deliver more accurate forecasts in the future than human planners today? (n=412) © BARC

The still low use of predictive planning and forecasting in practice is in stark contrast to the assessment of its relevance and potential. Two thirds of the companies surveyed are only just beginning to address the topic and have not yet gained much experience. Only 4% already successfully use and benefit from predictive technologies and forecasts.

Dr. Christian Fuchs, Senior Data & Analytics Analyst and co-author of this study points out: “The gap between future expectations and the current situation is quite striking. Many companies will have to step up their technical and organizational approaches in order to tap the full potential of predictive planning and forecasting.”

About the study

“Integrated and Predictive – The Future of Corporate Planning” is a topical BARC survey examining the approaches and obstacles to implementing integrated corporate planning. The study is based on a worldwide survey of more than 400 companies of various sizes and industry sectors. The focus of the study is to evaluate the importance of integrated corporate planning and to identify the challenges and risks currently facing companies. The authors of the study are Dr. Christian Fuchs and Robert Tischler, Senior Analysts for Data & Analytics at BARC.

Useful links

Further information about “Integrated and Predictive – The Future of Corporate Planning”
Infographic based on findings from the study
Download the full study from the sponsor’s website

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Regina Schmidt
Communications Manager
Tel: +49 (0) 931 880651-47
Mobile: + 49 (0) 1520 431 82 39
Email: rschmidt@barc.de

The Future of Corporate Planning cover image

Infographic: “Integrated and Predictive – The Future of Corporate Planning”

The solid integration of corporate planning and its integration with analytics is the basis of modern, data-driven corporate management. It not only increases the speed and transparency of decisions and their quality, but it is also the foundation for the use of predictive planning and forecasting powered by statistical methods and machine learning.

Based on a survey of 424 decision-makers worldwide, this infographic highlights:

  • The current challenges facing finance and controlling departments
  • The importance of corporate planning
  • Where companies are right now in terms of the integration of corporate planning
  • The most common obstacles to integrating corporate planning
  • How companies can reduce the effort they put into planning
  • BARC’s recommendations on integrated corporate planning

Click here to find out more and to download the full study.

The Future of Corporate Planning infographic

 

Click here to find out more and to download the full study.

The Planning Survey 20 post

BARC Survey Reveals Big Increase in Use of Cloud Planning. Surge in Predictive Planning Expected.

PRESS RELEASE – WÜRZBURG, May 27th, 2020

The analyst firm BARC published The Planning Survey 20 today at its annual Digital Finance and Controlling conference, which is taking place online due to the Covid-19 crisis. This major study collates feedback from over 1,400 professionals on their use of software for planning and budgeting.

  • – The sixth edition of The Planning Survey is out now. With 1,400 respondents, it is the largest survey on the selection and use of planning software on the market.
  • – Survey results show that companies are increasingly focusing on planning in the cloud.
  • – Predictive planning and integration with BI and analysis functions are also increasing in popularity.

Cloud planning sees big increase

Use of cloud planning has jumped from just 8% of survey respondents in 2016 to 36% in 2020 (see Figure 1). The last two years has seen especially strong growth. Meanwhile, 51% claimed they saw no need for cloud-based planning in 2019, but that figure has dropped to 38% this year. Just 27% now have plans to use the cloud, among the lowest ‘planned’ rates this year (see Figure 2).

“For the first time, there are now more companies actually doing their planning with cloud-based software than those intending to do so in the future,” said Christian Fuchs, senior analyst at BARC and author of The Planning Survey 20. “Several purely cloud-based planning products have emerged in recent years, particularly in the United States, and some have already gained significant market share.”

Planning Survey chart: cloud usage 2016-2020

Figure 1: Planning in the cloud, 2016-2020, (n=various)

Surge in predictive planning expected

64% of respondents consider predictive planning and forecasting to be very important for their business. At present, it has been deployed in only 21% of the companies surveyed but a healthy 56% have plans to put it in place (see Figure 2). The main incentives of predictive planning are to achieve a better quality of extrapolations and simulations (cited by 53% of respondents), relief of planners (47%) and easier identification and evaluation of drivers (46%).

“Planning vendors are currently investing massively in the integration of statistical methods, machine learning and artificial intelligence to support their customers,” said Fuchs. “In the future, BARC expects to see ready-made solutions that are easy to understand and lead to reliable results. Less statistical know-how would be required to use them and the demand on resources would be reduced due to their prefabricated nature.”

Planning Survey 20 chart: trends adoption

Figure 2: Which of the following does your company do/use with your product for planning and budgeting? (n=893)

 

Buyers want flexibility and planning functionality, but integration with BI is also desirable

Flexibility and planning-specific functionality have been the two main reasons why companies buy their planning products over the last three years. But perhaps more interesting is the importance attached to reporting and analysis requirements (see Figure 3). This finding underlines the importance of integrating planning with classical business intelligence (BI) and analytics functionality such as reporting, analysis and dashboards.

“While planning is an important element of management control to align operational business with strategic corporate objectives, its success also depends on comprehensive analytics and BI functionality,” said Fuchs. “BARC has observed that the maturity level of integrated planning and analytics software has now reached a very high level, and it appears that many companies recognize the advantages of integrating the two areas, ideally within the same software product.”

Planning Survey 20 chart: Reasons why planning tools are bought

Figure 3: Why was your software product chosen? (n=904) © BARC

 

About the study

The Planning Survey 20 is the sixth edition of BARC’s major annual study into the selection and use of planning tools. The findings are based on a worldwide survey of 1,406 planning users, consultants and vendors, which was conducted from November 2019 to February 2020. It features analysis and comparison of 23 leading planning products based on user feedback, as well as current data on market trends and the selection and use of planning tools.

Useful links

About The Planning Survey 20
Aggregated product-related results and an online product comparison tool

About BARC

BARC (Business Application Research Center) is one of Europe’s leading analyst firms for business software, focusing on the areas of data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics, enterprise content management (ECM) and customer relationship management (CRM). The company was founded in 1999 as a spin-off of the Chair of Business Administration and Information Systems at the Julius-Maximilians-University in Würzburg. Today, BARC combines empirical and theoretical research, technical expertise and practical experience, including a constant exchange with all market participants.

Contact

For further information, please contact:

Mark Handford
Tel.: +44 (0)1536 772 451
E-Mail: mhandford@barc-research.com