Pohjolan Voima Benefits from the Versatile Use of IBM Planning Analytics

Pohjolan Voima produces about 20% of the electricity generated in Finland, making it one of the largest energy producers in the country. The cooperation between Pohjolan Voima and Intito started with building a master data management model on IBM Planning Analytics. Since then, a wide range of models have been built on Planning Analytics. The versatile use of Planning Analytics has achieved that everyone has access to the same data and there is certainty about the accuracy of the data. The shared data has allowed the automation of repetitive processes, reducing manual work.

Business challenge

The previously used solution for master data management did not meet Pohjolan Voima’s needs anymore and was running out of support.

Transformation

Master data model was built on IBM Planning Analytics in co-operation with Intito. Pohjolan Voima’s experts realized how versatile solution Planning Analytics is. Since then, diverse models have been built on it, for example, a model for managing KPI metrics and calculating incentives.

Results

The versatile use of Planning Analytics has achieved that everyone has access to the same data and there is certainty about the accuracy of the data. The shared data has allowed the automation of repetitive processes, reducing manual work and chance of errors. Pohjolan Voima’s experts’ time has been freed up to analyze figures.

Pohjolan Voima Group is one of the largest energy companies in Finland. It accounts for about 20% of Finland’s electricity production. Pohjolan Voima produces energy mainly for Finnish industrial and energy companies. Of the electricity it produces, 97% is carbon neutral.

“In addition to industrial energy production, we produce district heat for Finnish. My role in the company is to act as a strategic finance partner to our subsidiaries. My day-to-day work consists of financial management tasks, for which we have good systems in place. I am the main user of IBM Planning Analytics, and we are actively working on development in this area in cooperation with Intito,” says Marita Peltokoski, Pohjolan Voima’s Finance Business Partner.

A Finnish river landscape during sunset pictured from above.

The Master Data Model on IBM Planning Analytics Became the Backbone of Pohjolan Voima’s Planning

The first step in the cooperation between Pohjolan Voima and Intito was to build a master data management model on IBM Planning Analytics. The previously used solution did not meet Pohjolan Voima’s needs anymore and was running out of support. “Intito convinced us that IBM Planning Analytics would fit our needs, and to be honest we’ve found the system to be a great fit for us,” says Marita Peltokoski.

After the successful master data management model project, Pohjolan Voima became interested in Intito’s support and maintenance services, as well as small-scale development.

“Planning Analytics is a calculation engine that can be used to model all kinds of calculations. After the master data management model, we have built for Pohjolan Voima, for example, a model for managing KPI metrics and calculating incentives. In addition to the new models, we are flexibly making small-scale developments to the budgeting and forecasting model,” says Jussi Juvonen Senior Consultant from Intito’s xPA team.

The master data management model serves as the backbone of Pohjolan Voima’s planning, forecasting and reporting. The finance application architecture of Pohjolan Voima consists of IBM Planning Analytics, Cognos Analytics and Cognos Controller for core reporting & planning processes. Planning Analytics is integrated with Pohjolan Voima’s data warehouse, through which all Pohjolan Voima’s financial data is available to be used in Planning Analytics and reporting.

The Benefits of Versatile Use of IBM Planning Analytics are Clear

The KPI management model is used for following the achievement of key performance indicators. KPIs are used in the calculation model when calculating staff performance bonuses. With the performance bonus calculation model, HR has also benefited significantly from IBM Planning Analytics.

From the beginning, I didn’t realize how versatile and multifunctional Planning Analytics is. It seems that the only limit to what you can model is your imagination. That’s why we’ve used it for a very wide range of solutions.

Marita Peltokoski, Finance Business Partner, - Pohjolan Voima

In addition to the solutions mentioned above, Pohjolan Voima’s budgeting and forecasting model was integrated with a cost allocation model in spring 2022, which may be used to allocate any costs flexibly over multiple dimensions. Currently it is mainly used allocating costs to series of shares. New planned features for 2024 include an emission allowance calculation model and a scorecard model.

“From the beginning, I didn’t realize how versatile and multifunctional Planning Analytics is. It seems that the only limit to what you can model is your imagination. That’s why we’ve used it for a very wide range of solutions. Jussi Juvonen from Intito knows our environment and our industry well, having worked with us for a long time. He knows how to listen and quickly understands the problem we need a solution to,” says Marita Peltokoski about the collaboration.

IBM Planning Analytics is actively used by a handful of Pohjolan Voima’s financial management experts. In addition to them, a few people from the HR department use the performance bonus calculation model a few times a year. The versatile use of Planning Analytics has achieved that everyone has access to the same data and there is certainty about the accuracy of the data. The shared data has allowed the automation of repetitive processes, reducing manual work.

“Our time has been freed up to analyze things – why our figures are what they are. We don’t need to check data we’ve already checked because we have confidence in the accuracy and consistency of the data. Shared data and automation reduce the chance of errors,” says Marita Peltokoski.

The Secret of Long-Lasting Cooperation

The next steps of a successful cooperation have already been thought through. Two years ago, Pohjolan Voima joined the Intito CARE service, which aims to systematize development, support and maintenance services. Using a systematic development road mapping process, Intito CARE creates a clear outline for co-operation by defining development and maintenance as separate entities of the same goal which is: seamless and easy cooperation.

“Our cooperation with Intito is top-notch. If I had to describe it in one word, I would say it is easy. It is easy for me to contact Intito and easy for me to talk about things. I can feel free to say if I don’t understand what a consultant means. Trust is the basis for easy cooperation. This is a nice and seamless basis for building new things and developing existing ones,” says Marita Peltokoski, summing up the secret of successful and long-lasting cooperation.

Solution components

- IBM Planning Analytics
- IBM Cognos Controller
- IBM Cognos Analytics
- Intito CARE

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