– As seen on the Host Analytics blog (http://blog.hostanalytics.com/)
Enterprise performance management (EPM) is a process and software system designed to help organizations link strategies to plans and execution.
Key EPM processes include modeling, planning, financial consolidation, reporting, and analytics that are linked in a continuous, repeatable management cycle.
As organizations move from spreadsheets and legacy EPM applications to cloud-based EPM platforms, robust data integration capabilities are essential to ensuring smooth-running EPM processes, accelerating planning and reporting, and providing actionable insights to managers across the enterprise.
Data Integration Requirements in EPM Processes and Software
One of the most critical requirements of an EPM platform is the ability to integrate financial and non-financial data from multiple sources. For example, the integration of financial data from general ledgers (GLs) and operational data from human capital management (HCM) and other sources is required to support the financial consolidation and reporting process.
In budgeting and planning, the integration of prior-year actuals from GLs may be required to “seed” the annual budget process. Many organizations need to import historical information about their employees from HCM applications to perform headcount and compensation planning, or sales forecasts from CRM applications. Data integration is also required to perform budget vs. actual analysis of financial or operational results. Historic financial results are also required to support periodic forecasting, as well as rolling forecasts.
As organizations look to move their EPM processes and systems to cloud-based platforms, having the ability to integrate data from both on-premises and cloud-based GL, HCM, and CRM systems is critical to streamlining planning and reporting processes.
What Data Integration Features to Look for in EPM Software
When evaluating and selecting EPM software, there are tons of features and functions to look for, but among those, the most important just may be robust data integration capabilities. An EPM platform needs to support the integration of a wide variety of data sources and types:
- Trial balance summaries
- Transaction detail
- Statistical/non-financial data
- Employees, jobs, and positions