Cognos, a world leader in business intelligence and performance management solutions, announced the launch of a new financial services performance solution designed to help retail banks drive greater branch profitability through more effective customer segment and product-level planning, analysis and reporting.

Retail bank branches are under pressure today to deliver accurate, timely profitability plans that are aligned with corporate revenue objectives. Traditional banking solutions like ERP, branch teller and platform systems, or spreadsheets are typically not designed to handle sophisticated, branch network-wide planning, modeling and budgeting.

The new Cognos Branch Performance Blueprint was developed to help retail banks perform detailed top-down and branch-up revenue and expense planning to ensure organization-wide alignment with strategic objectives. The solution extends the critical planning process beyond the finance department to the branch network, enabling managers to drive profitability planning, analysis and reporting at the product and customer segment levels.

Anchored on Cognos Planning and Cognos 8 BI and based on banking industry best practices, the Cognos Branch Performance Blueprint allows bank managers to benefit from:

  • Driver-based planning for more granular management of key revenue andexpense lines
  •  Flexible initiative planning to better mobilize new product introductions, marketing campaigns and other branch-level initiatives
  •  Position-level branch staff planning for strong head count expenditure control
  •  Break-back functionality to automatically pro-rate revenues, margins or costs to meet goals
  •  'What-if' modeling and analysis to best determine the impact of decisions using multiple scenarios
  •  Intuitive dashboards to monitor and analyze performance indicators at various levels
  •  Integrated workflow capabilities to facilitate enterprise collaboration and accountability

To ensure profitability plan accuracy, all data is delivered through Acorn System's Profit Analyzer, which uniquely assigns general ledger costs and resources through business processes to precisely determine the baseline cost and profitability of individual customers, segments, channels, branches, products and even transactions, based on historical performance. With greater confidence in these numbers, branch managers can spend less time on calculations, focusing on executing initiatives and improving performance.
Developed by the Cognos Innovation Center for Performance Management, the Cognos Branch Performance Blueprint consists of targeted, pre-built data, process and policy models based on proven best-practices in bank operations planning, budgeting and forecasting. The solution equips customers with all of the necessary technology and process design choices, enabling them to synchronize and coordinate financial and operational plans in order to make better resource allocation decisions, from the corporate center down to the branch network.

Cognos Branch Performance Blueprint is the first in a series of financial services industry-specific solutions, and is available immediately to Cognos customers. To date, Cognos offers a full suite of Performance Blueprints that cover a wide spectrum of planning and performance management process areas, such as strategic financial planning and forecasting; sales planning and forecasting; workforce planning; expense planning; and capital expenditure planning. Cognos Performance Blueprints are a key component within the Cognos Performance Management System, which brings together technology, best practices, analytical applications and a broad network of partners into a single performance management solution.

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