How can Simulation Dashboards Drive Faster and Better Decisions?

As FP&A Managers increasingly become key advisors in the Modelling and Forecasting Process, they must rely on modern self-service corporate performance management (CPM) and business intelligence (BI) tools. Using interactive Simulation Dashboards like the Profit Simulation Dashboard template shown below enables them and users from the Executive and Finance teams to experience near real time forecasting that help drive faster and better decisions.

Who uses Profit Simulation Dashboards and What are Some Key Analytical Features?

In today’s fast-paced business environment, FP&A Managers are under high pressure to supply end users like CFOs and senior leaders with timely and concise Simulation Dashboards. Companies use key features like the ones below to support their users with effective analysis that helps drive expense control and profit maximization.

  • Sliders to increase or decrease the weighting of historical data in the current year estimate
  • Comparison of simulation result with annual budget and three years of history
  • Focus on Gross Profit, EBITDA and Net Profit

The Profit Simulation Dashboard template can be used as a key element of the Modelling and Forecasting process:

Example of a Profit Simulation Dashboard to Streamline the Modelling and Forecasting Process

Example of a Profit Simulation Dashboard to Streamline the Modelling and Forecasting Process

The Profit Simulation Dashboard is a ready-to-use Simulation Dashboard from the Solver Marketplace

A Brief Description of the Profit Simulation Dashboard Template

Simulation Dashboards like the one seen in the image above are interactive and parameter driven and typically contain sections with simulation sliders, as well as profitability KPIs with related variance tables and graphical charts. One of the important features that aid the user in the analysis process is the ability to move any of the sliders left or right to increase or decrease the weighting of that item in the simulated profitability estimate. Profit Simulation Dashboards are often used in conjunction with forecast input models, sales dashboards, revenue dashboards, expense dashboards and profit & loss reports.

Data Integration to Transaction Systems

Most organizations these days want automated and streamlined planning, reporting and analysis. However, many of the benefits described earlier rely on best of breed Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools and/or Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities as well as data marts or data warehouses that use pre-built integrations to the organization’s ERP system. Oftentimes, they also need integrations to other key data sources like CRM, subscription systems, payroll tools, etc.

Modern, cloud-based ERPs like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance (D365 Finance), Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Sage Intacct, Acumatica, Netsuite and SAP have robust APIs which allow for dynamic integrations to CPM and BI tools that are fully automated and flexible to run on a schedule or on-demand.

Additional Resources to Aid with Research of Templates, CPM and BI Tools