Profit and Loss (P&L) statements permeate businesses due to the need to track how a is performing at overall, unit, and even project-by-project levels. This blog raises a question: why shouldn’t an plan be expected as a part of the plan for any major initiative just like a P&L is? During some recent client discussions, it became apparent that the necessity of thinking about analytics up front must be reinforced and promoted by those of us in the analytics and data science community. Over , it will then become standard practice for the broader business community.

A P&L Is A Given

It is widely accepted that if someone is asked to invest in anything of substance within the business world, they’re going to want to see an estimated P&L up front as part of the business plan. Then, if an investment is made, there will be an expectation of receiving ongoing P&L updates in terms of both performance-to-date and projected-performance moving forward. I doubt that many people would argue with this expectation or be surprised by it. The need for a P&L as part of a business plan is simply accepted.

This expectation to have a P&L makes sense. After …

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