Carnegie Hall 2019-04-02T14:54:10-04:00
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Carnegie Hall

Since Carnegie Hall first opened its doors in 1891 it has been the place where distinctive artists of all stripes have come to make their names in New York City. This tradition of excellence has made Carnegie Hall an essential part of the city’s cultural fabric and the world’s most famous concert hall.

Carnegie Hall’s mission is to present extraordinary music and musicians on the three stages of this legendary hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, to provide visionary education programs, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists, and audiences.

Carnegie Hall upgrades, transform and optimizes their Planning processes from Clarity 7 to IBM Planning Analytics Express.

Challenge

As the complexity and variety of concert bookings across the multiple Carnegie Hall venues grew, it became increasingly difficult to maintain timely control over the optimization of each concert event and to manage expenses across multi-year plans.

The existing, spreadsheet-based financial and operational planning processes, made it all but impossible to accurately and dynamically enable continuous planning.

Carnegie Hall first attempted to upgrade the systems and processes with vendor support to the Clarity 7 planning solution but it quickly became clear that the solution was not flexible enough to adapt to their unique needs and the vendor at that time had a hard time understanding their business processes.

It left them in a state of partially using Clarity 7 and partially reverting back to their manual spreadsheets.

It became incredibly frustrating and time-consuming collecting and validating data into spreadsheets and between systems.  It was error prone and left little time for planning optimization and analytics.  This then began to impact business performance by not having an accurate overview of business operations and in turn not being reactive enough to changing market conditions.

Action

The team began looking again for a solution and found Clear Insight as a potential answer to these problems, but were gun shy given problems with initial attempts.

Together the current challenges were evaluated, understood and identified.  Clear Insight’s extensive experience with building and optimizing Clarity 7 solutions helped to fast-track the analysis and show that more robust planning functionality was required to address Carnegie Hall’s unique planning needs.

Clear Insight brought forward IBM TM1/Planning Analytics as a potential solution which in turn proved to be viable solution through demos and a proof-of-concept.

Specifically, Clear Insight suggested and procured IBM Cognos Express as the most cost-effective mid-market licensing model for Carnegie Hall to acquire all the licensing and functionality needed.

Clear Insight then was able to re-design a new planning process in IBM Cognos Express and convert all the redeemable elements from the Clarity 7 system.

Together, the team implemented the new planning solution which extracts data from the company’s Financial System and CHRON, the companies Concert Calendar, and then establishes Budgets, Plans and Forecasts in IBM Cognos Express. The event plans are then pushed back up to the company’s ticketing and CRM system, Tessitura.

Results

Budgeting and planning are now done more efficiently at a much more detailed level given the new systems integrated automated concert templates. All the data is now in one place eliminating the ongoing data transfers and the complex integrated network of spreadsheets previously used. The net benefit is a dramatic improvement in budget confidence and accuracy and an 80% reduction in effort to set new concert budgets from one week to one day.

The integration between Planning Analytics and the other systems has greatly simplified the data management issues and saved countless hours for the team.”

The new purpose-built solution from Clear Insight includes integrated seating zones and dynamic management of zone pricing across events.

For example, it is very easy now to alter seat pricing by event such as right side of house for a pianist versus front of house for an orchestra. The solution provides extensive integration and collaboration from different user groups who impact the budgeting process, helping them find the information they need quickly and easily. The marketing teams complete the revenue and event booking side of the business while the artistic teams manage the expense side of the business. Users can drill up and down through the hierarchies, and individuals submit data into the system via the web interface on a daily basis, helping to track estimate and actual revenue and even margin results against projections, in real time.

With conversion from Clarity 7 to IBM Planning Analytics and the newly designed planning process the workload has been dramatically reduced and business performance increased.

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