Imagine that on your drive to work tomorrow morning, you spend your entire commute looking in the rearview mirror. Sound like a good idea? How far would you get before something serious – even catastrophic – happens?

It’s unthinkable, I know. But incredibly, companies do this every day. They depend too heavily on a historic view of their business to predict what might happen next.  In today’s business environment – where markets turn in an instant and customer loyalty is fleeting – that’s a recipe for disaster.

Just ask Walgreen’s, which last month shook up its executive ranks after disclosing that its previously publicized earnings forecast was inaccurate – by about $1 billion. Not all forecast errors are so enormous (or their repercussions so painfully public). But there’s no question that in an age where every company is awash in real-time data, successful businesses will find ways to combine that always-current data with analytics technology to come up with forecasts they can count on. By this I mean forecasts built around the factors that drive their business and the risks that could affect it, models that incorporate not only performance data but the crucial context that gives it meaning, and intuitively run what-if scenarios that let decision-makers understand what the impact of their actions will be.

At Tidemark, we like to summarize that concept this way: Run in the Now, Impact the Future.

In fact, relying on predictive business analytics (PBA) is fast emerging as a defining characteristic of market leaders, with Gartner estimating that companies who implement predictive business performance metrics will increase their profitability 20 percent by 2017.

It’s an important enough topic that we’re hosting a free webinar with Proformative on Wednesday, Sept. 24, from 11 am to noon Pacific. The webinar will feature author and business performance guru Larry Maisel, whose consulting firm DecisionVu has helped Ford, Citigroup, NBC Universal, Pfizer and other Fortune 1000 companies develop and implement strategies that increase operating performance and improve shareholder value.

“Business Analytics, Forecasting, Financial Planning: The Recipe for Impacting Performance Across the Enterprise” will provide attendees with a better understanding of why and how to implement PBA.  Maisel will draw on his experience and groundbreaking thought leadership in the field to outline the steps every company must take to make predictive analytics part of their forecasting and planning processes, including defining guiding principles for BPA, adopting and developing a PBA framework, and establishing a monthly operating review to consistently measure and monitor the metrics that matter.

Maisel will also explore how these PBA best practices are being integrated withfinancial planning and advanced analytics platforms to improve performance across an entire enterprise. In addition, these concepts will come to life when Maisel shares a case study detailing his work with MetLife.

After attending this free webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the concepts and inter-relationships of business analytics, dynamic planning and forecasting, and employee performance management
  • Discover how to transition from a static to dynamic planning and forecasting environment that links strategy to operations
  • Identify opportunities to develop and leverage analytics that deliver timely, relevant and accurate to those who impact financial and operational performance

One CPE Credit (Finance, Basic) is available for webinar participants. And as a special thank-you from Tidemark, webinar attendees whose questions are chosen* for the Q&A portion will receive a free copy of Maisel’s latest book (with Gary Cokins), Predictive Business Analytics: Forward Looking Capabilities to Improve Business Performance.

Register today, and find out how your company can join the ranks of the industry leaders who forecast the future with predictive analytics – rather than a rearview mirror.

*If Q&A time runs short, webinar hosts will randomly select questions from all those submitted.