Enhance forecasting skills to be "future ready"

Social Lead for IBM Analytics - Financial Services Sector, IBM

Are you future ready? That is the multimillion dollar question. No one has a crystal ball to say what the future holds, but with help from analytics, data analysts and business leaders can extrapolate to see where the trends are leading. 

For example, if you knew with 100 percent certainty what to expect, budgets, forecasts and the risk you assign to them would be largely unnecessary. But if you could forecast more accurately with calculated risks, perhaps your budgets would be closer to the crystal ball’s predictions. 

At IBM Vision 2015, attendees will hear keen insight from two speakers who can help them become future ready. Dr. Steve Morlidge and Steve Player are from the Beyond Budgeting Round Table (BBRT) way of thinking that was started by Jeremy Hope, author of Beyond Budgeting: How Managers Can Break Free from the Annual Performance Trap (Harvard Business Review Press, 2003) and is based on the following belief: 

The traditional annual budgeting process—characterized by fixed targets and performance incentives—is time consuming, overcentralized and outdated. Worse, it often causes dysfunctional and unethical managerial behavior. Based on an intensive, international study into pioneering companies, Beyond Budgeting offers an alternative, coherent management model that overcomes the limitations of traditional budgeting.

Are you ready to rethink how your company does budgeting? A few years ago, Morlidge shared some of this business insight in an interview with Tony Levy, executive, IBM Business Analytics. When asked what advice he had for finance executives heading into the budget season, Morlidge said, “Volatility, uncertainty and risk are increasing. Relying on the traditional annual budget as the sole system for resource allocation is no longer practical. Instead, companies need to rely more on timely, reliable forecasts. With a clear view of where the business is headed, companies can make better decisions about the future.” 

Morlidge and Player can show you the way in their talk at IBM Vision 2015 and in their recently published book Future Ready: How to Master Business Forecasting and Beyond Performance Management. Future Ready is an invaluable guide for practicing managers and a source of insight and inspiration for business leaders looking for better ways than ever to accomplish successful outcomes. Students as well can be motivated by the science and craft of management. Written in an engaging and thought-provoking style, Future Ready leads the reader to answer several intriguing questions: 

  • What makes a good forecast?
  • What period should a forecast cover?
  • How frequently should a forecast be updated?
  • What information should a forecast contain?
  • What is the best way to produce a forecast?
  • How can gaming and other forms of data manipulation be avoided?
  • How should a forecast be used?
  • How do you ensure a forecast is reliable?
  • What is the best way to organize a forecast process?

For more information, see Player’s Finance Transformation column in Business Finance magazine, which features interviews with chief financial officers (CFOs) from leading organizations on innovative finance and planning processes.

In addition, learn more about the exceptional speakers who will share their expertise at IBM Vision 2015, and register while you still can. If you are unable to attend the conference this year, watch the livestream of the keynotes, general sessions, interviews and more on the IBM VisionGo website.