The City of Oulu has an innovative approach to operational and financial planning

The City of Oulu has an innovative approach to operational and financial planning

Project Tasks

  • Business challenge

    Change is constant in this diversified corporate group employing more than 7,000 people. The organisational structures evolve, reporting requirements are updated and staff change over time. The City of Oulu needs to keep up with the change.

  • Transformation

    The City of Oulu has been making the right choices in financial planning and reporting for a long time. Well functioning systems are flexible in the face of changing situations. A partner familiar with the solutions provides support during times of change.

  • Results

    A comprehensive financial planning solution for the entire City of Oulu, including HR planning. Advanced computing, automation and systematic data storage. City of Oulu experts are satisfied with the solutions in place to support their work.

  • I believe that we have made the right choices in financial planning and reporting. We have a solution tailored to our needs that is flexible in the face of constant change. Our experts are satisfied with the systems in use.

    Marja Kariniemi, Director of Finance and Economy, City of Oulu
Project Details

The City of Oulu is the fifth largest city in Finland, with a population of over 200,000. Today, the Oulu region is known for its concentration of technological expertise. The region is home to many hi-tech companies, such as Nokia, and the technology sector employs more than 10,000 people.

“The City of Oulu forms a corporate group employing approximately 7,000 people. Our budget, including investments, is just under 1 billion euros. Constant change, the latest being the health and social services reform, challenges the way we plan. It is important for us that our planning models are up-to-date and reliable,” says Marja Kariniemi, Director of Finance and Economy, City of Oulu.

Right choices have been made in financial planning for a long time

The City of Oulu has been working with the same experts for a long time. At the start of 2023, Intito Oy strengthened its position in the analytics market by acquiring the entire share capital of Soleno Oy in Oulu. At the same time, experts familiar to the City of Oulu joined Intito.

“I’ve been involved in helping the City of Oulu with all kinds of IT issues for years. They have a versatile and innovative approach to business and financial planning and reporting. There is a comprehensive financial planning system for the entire City of Oulu, including HR planning. They have also built their own models for specific enterprises,” says Sami Ervasti, Data & AI Team Lead, Intito.

The City of Oulu started using Cognos Analytics and Data Stage twenty years ago. IBM Planning Analytics has been in use since 2017. Today, there are 185 IBM Planning Analytics users and 150 IBM Cognos Analytics users. It is particularly important for the City of Oulu to have an expert partner familiar with its solutions. This allows their own experts to focus on their main work of reporting and planning operations and finances.

Doing things together and trust as cornerstones of long-term cooperation

“Soleno has a long experience with Cognos Analytics, and they have been providing us with support for it for a long time. I am pleased to say that the cooperation has gone well. Over the years, they have become our work buddies. I can contact them at any time. Doing things together and trust are the most important aspects of our cooperation,” says Rauni Kotilainen, ICT Information Architect, City of Oulu.

“Cooperation is going really well with Planning Analytics. Having an experienced partner, who knows our solutions, is definitely an added value. Our model is complex, but our partner consultants have been able to respond quickly to changes needed. For example, organisational changes and changes in reporting requirements have an immediate impact on the planning solution,” says Henna Myllymäki, Group Controller, City of Oulu.

Solutions tailored to the City of Oulu serve them well now and in the future

Thanks to long-standing cooperation with the same experts, the City of Oulu has extensive monitoring capabilities, which have been partly automated. The bulk of Excel files have been eliminated. The aim is to have one common dataset provided by Planning Analytics and Cognos Analytics. When the City of Oulu became a customer of Intito, it was decided to conduct a “health check” of Planning Analytics to find good starting points for further development of the planning and calculation model and reporting.

“I believe that we have made the right choices in financial planning and reporting. We have a solution tailored to our needs that is flexible in the face of constant change. Our experts are satisfied with the systems in use. We have come a long way in computing and I believe we will be able to get even more out of our solutions in the future. We intend to further develop data storage and reporting in the City of Oulu. I believe that our current tools have the potential to go far into the future,” reflects Marja Kariniemi.

“We have been systematically building our data repository for more than 20 years. In addition to the organisation’s own needs, the data in the repository has also been used for research and theses. We hope that Intito will bring new features of the solutions to our attention and help us adopt best practices,” Rauni Kotilainen adds.

“Collecting up-to-date information in our systems is part of our risk management. This way, the data is stored and available to all users at the same time. Our experts have liked the reporting cubes very much. They are excellent analytical tools that enable our experts to learn how to search and analyse data themselves,” Henna Myllymäki concludes.

Cooperation between the City of Oulu and Intito will continue with minor development and maintenance of the existing solutions. When major changes in the organisation or reporting requirements occur, the necessary changes to the planning models are made with familiar consultants, in good cooperation and in a flexible manner, as has been the case so far.

Solution components
  • IBM Planning Analytics

  • IBM Cognos Analytics

  • IBM DataStage

  • Certent Disclosure Management

Project Details

The City of Oulu is the fifth largest city in Finland, with a population of over 200,000. Change is constant in this diversified corporate group employing more than 7,000 people. Right choices have been made in financial planning for a long time in cooperation with the same experts. A partner familiar with the solutions provides support during times of change. The City of Oulu has a versatile and innovative approach to operational and financial planning and reporting.

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