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Roche: Advancing medicine by optimising financial forecasting with predictive planning

Explore Roche’s journey with SAP

F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Roche) develops medical advancements needed worldwide. The company depends on R&D finance for financial forecasts that direct the company’s innovative drug development. To streamline and accelerate its financial forecasting process with predictive planning, Roche turned to SAP Analytics Cloud.



of forecast data entry points automated with SAP Analytics Cloud.


hours to generate a US$4.2 billion financial forecast – reduced from several weeks.


forecast data entry points automated.

Every minute we allow our R&D organisation to focus on the science has an exponential impact on bringing transformative medicines and treatments to society.

David Dubowski
Head of R&D Finance
F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

The Challenge

Supporting data-driven decision-making in R&D finance

Roche is committed to driving groundbreaking scientific and technological advances that have the potential to transform the lives of patients worldwide. The company has worked to improve healthcare for more than a century. Its purpose, “Doing now what patients need next,” guides what the organisation does every day.


With a 10-year plan to deliver twice the number of medical advances at half the cost to society, Roche looked to make a radical shift in the way it works. The R&D finance team took a leading role in supporting this ambition and joined forces with IT. 


Together, R&D and IT planned to optimise processes with predictive analytics and accelerate the company’s digitalisation journey. Roche hoped to find more efficient ways to execute the manual and time-consuming finance forecasting process across its decentralised R&D business units.

Our 10-year ambition requires a radical shift in the way we work. I am excited to see finance at the forefront of this transformation.

Alan Hippe
Chief Financial and IT Officer
F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG

The Solution

Delivering value to R&D by infusing intelligence into finance processes

To optimise its financial forecasting process with predictive analytics, Roche implemented the SAP Analytics Cloud solution to take advantage of embedded predictive planning. Native integration with the existing data foundation in the SAP Business Warehouse application powered by SAP HANA allowed the company to take advantage of years of historical data. This enables more accurate and harmonised forecasting in a matter of hours, rather than weeks.


Drawing on historical data, Roche takes advantage of predictive planning capabilities to generate faster and more trusted forecasts. Currently, the predictive outcomes created by SAP Analytics Cloud are written back to SAP Business Warehouse powered by SAP HANA for further processing by the planners. Soon, the company will perform this planning entirely in SAP Analytics Cloud, reducing maintenance effort and costs. 


With help from SAP, Roche was able to implement SAP Analytics Cloud quickly and deploy predictive planning capabilities fast.


The Result

Improving forecast accuracy with powerful predictions

Roche successfully shifted the focus of the R&D finance organisation from traditional bottom-up financial forecasts to an automated predictive forecasting process. This enabled the company to automate 14,000 out of 20,000 forecast data entry points.


Using the predictive planning capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud, Roche streamlined its financial forecast process to generate a US$4.2 billion forecast – it now takes just two hours instead of several weeks. Roche can now make more agile financial decisions and accelerate insight to action.


By building a new forecasting experience and streamlining the overall planning process, Roche has freed its R&D finance team from manual tasks, giving them time to focus on value-adding activities. In-line with its 10-year plan, Roche intends to use these powerful analytics solutions to further the success of drug discovery and development, achieve operational efficiencies, and get closer to a vision of personalised healthcare.


Roche submitted an entry for the SAP Innovation Awards, which honors and celebrates the achievements of forward-thinking companies and individuals that have harnessed the power of the latest SAP products and technologies to disrupt industries, help the world run better, and improve people’s lives.​ View Roche's pitch deck to see how the company is powering predictive financial forecasts with SAP Analytics Cloud.

SAP helps Roche run better

Key business outcomes and benefits

  • Enabled the R&D finance organisation to embrace digitalisation and automation
  • Automated 14,000 out of 20,000 forecast data entry points
  • Achieved a 7% improvement in forecast accuracy
  • Enabled the R&D finance team to deliver critical insights that lead to actions, instead of just manipulating and adjusting data
  • Created efficient cross-functional collaboration between IT, business units, and finance centres of excellence

Featured solutions and services

  • SAP Analytics Cloud combines business intelligence, augmented analytics, predictive analytics, and enterprise planning into one cloud environment.

About Roche

F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (Roche) is one of the world’s largest biotech companies, as well as a leading provider of in-vitro diagnostics and a global supplier of transformative, innovative solutions across major disease areas. Throughout Roche’s 125-year journey, commitment to people and patients has always remained its most important priority.

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