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The Planning Survey 24: The Most Comprehensive Analysis of the Planning Software Market

The Planning Survey 24, the largest fact-based analysis of the software market for corporate planning, budgeting and forecasting, is now available. The study analyzes customer feedback on all market-relevant solutions and provides meaningful comparisons between competing products based on a variety of critical software and vendor-related criteria. The Planning Survey also offers a detailed quantitative analysis of why customers buy planning tools, how they are used, the problems users have with the software tools, and how successfully they are implemented. This year’s edition of The Planning Survey is based on the experiences of 1,272 respondents and detailed analyses of 21 planning solutions from 20 different vendors.

Key elements for corporate management

The survey results show that planning, budgeting and forecasting are central elements for corporate management to align operational business with strategic goals. Today‘s increasing competitive and market dynamics make efficient and reliable corporate planning and current forecasts essential. Informed decisions, based on up-to-date forecasts and data analyses, as well as the automation of processes and improved software support, are gaining in importance. Successful corporate performance management (CPM) requires comprehensive planning, budgeting and forecasting functions, as well as analytics and business intelligence (BI). The integration of all CPM disciplines and CPM with analytics and corporate consolidation is becoming a crucial competitive factor.

Usage and trends in planning software

Companies primarily use planning software for financial planning (72 percent), but increasingly also for operational planning (64 percent). Traditional annual budgeting is done by 81 percent, while 68 percent of respondents use their software for forecasting. Future applications include strategic planning (34 percent) and advanced forecasting (27 percent). In many companies, especially among late adopters, Microsoft Excel remains the preferred planning tool. However, specialized planning products are used by 72 percent of the companies surveyed. 76 percent still use Excel either separately or in combination with other tools. The rate of Excel use for planning, budgeting and forecasting remains high. Nonetheless, many companies are attempting to reduce the use of Excel for planning purposes in the medium term.

Dr. Christian Fuchs, BARC Senior Analyst and author of the study, commented: “Our research clearly shows that specialized planning tools offer significant advantages compared to Excel. User satisfaction is much higher with specialized solutions and many report no significant problems with usage. This underscores the importance of choosing the right tool for success in the planning process.”

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-> Overview The Planning Survey 24

-> About the survey

About BARC

BARC is a leading analyst firm for data & analytics and enterprise software with a reputation for unbiased and trusted advice. Our expert analysts deliver a wide range of research, events and advisory services for the data & analytics community. Our innovative research evaluates software and vendors rigorously and highlights market trends, delivering insights that enable our customers to innovate with data, analytics and AI. BARC’s 25 years of experience with data strategy & culture, data architecture, organization and software selection help clients transform into truly data-driven organizations.


Axel Bange

Axel Bange

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