Selection of a Predictive Analytics Tool in a Management Accounting Department: A Case Study
Predictive analytics (PA) is gaining increasing attention regarding its potential applications in business forecasting and planning. One major challenge of its implementation in management accounting (MA) is the selection of the optimal PA tool that best satisfies all user requirements. This thesis aims to identify important selection criteria for management accountants who consider implementing a PA solution to enhance their forecasting and planning processes. Following a case study approach, we analyze and select a PA tool in the controlling department of a large German company. By conducting expert interviews, analyzing company data and testing the PA tools on time series data, we make three contributions. First, we build a framework of PA selection criteria that can serve as a basis for further research. Second, we emphasize the different perspectives of stakeholders and propose a two-step approach of weighing the importance of the selection criteria. Lastly, we find that accuracy is given higher priority than transparency when assessing the reliability of a PA tool in an MA department.