Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

Host Analytics Lifts Spreadsheets to Cloud for Finance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 27, 2013 9:48:54 AM

Host Analytics has introduced AirliftXL, a new feature of its cloud-based financial performance management (FPM) suite that enables its software to translate users’ spreadsheets into the Host Analytics format. I find it significant in three respects. First, it can substantially reduce the time and resources it takes for a company to go live in adopting the Host Analytics suite, lowering the cost of implementation and accelerating time to value. Second, it enables Host Analytics users who have the appropriate permissions to create and modify models and templates that they use in planning, budgeting, consolidation and reporting. This can enhance the value of the system by making it easier to maintain. Third, it can make it far easier to routinely collect and connect planning and analytical models used by all departments and business users as it has outlined in its planning cloud offering. Although it has limitations in its initial release, AirliftXL gives corporations a workable alternative to stand-alone spreadsheets and has the potential to substantially increase productivity and effectiveness of an organization in the full range of budgeting, planning, consolidation and reporting functions.

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Topics: Modeling, Reporting, closing, Consolidation, Controller, Host Analytics, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Accounting, CFO, Allocations, Financial Performance Management, FPM, spreadsheet

Host Analytics Introduces Its Own Business Analytics

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 16, 2012 11:57:33 AM

Host Analytics has added new analytics and reporting resources to its cloud-based performance management suite. Business Analytics will offer a broad set of built-in analytics and reporting capabilities or, for companies with an existing business intelligence infrastructure (from vendors such as IBM, Infor, Oracle or SAP), the option of a self-service approach. I believe these new analytics and reporting capabilities give companies considering only on-premises performance management deployments another reason to consider a cloud-based option; for Host Analytics it broadens the set of features it has to compete with other cloud-based vendors.

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Topics: Planning, Sales Performance, Reporting, Budgeting, closing, Consolidation, Host Analytics, XBRL, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Data, benchmark, Decision Hub, Financial Performance Management, SEC

Host Analytics Decision Hub Offers Central Financial Repository

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 4, 2011 11:26:34 AM

Host Analytics is taking advantage of one of the inherent advantages that vendors of software as a service (SaaS) have compared to on-premises ones: It’s easier for them to offer their customers data services and shared data repositories. The company’s  Decision Hub has been available since last summer. Although it doesn’t break new ground, it is a solid offering of this type and its value should be considered in any evaluation of Host’s offering.

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Topics: Planning, Sales Performance, Reporting, Budgeting, closing, Consolidation, Host Analytics, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Data, benchmark, Decision Hub, Financial Performance Management, SEC

Host Analytics Performance Management is Sweet in the Cloud

Posted by Robert Kugel on Nov 28, 2010 9:49:16 AM

Most large corporations have embraced some form of “performance management” software – perhaps even multiple forms – including business analytics to help create key performance indicators, reporting systems for graphically presenting information in a useful context (such as dashboards, scorecards or a recurring performance report) as well as planning systems to create budgets and forecasts or handle reviews. These sorts of systems become rarer as the size of the organization gets smaller. One reason is that in smaller organizations the time and effort needed to create and maintain these sorts of systems doesn’t seem to be worthwhile. Having an IT department that is large enough to have (and maintain) the skills support multiple applications and the data infrastructure to feed it can be more than midsize company or the division of a large corporation may be willing to bear. Yet, few of them want to compromise on features and capabilities and so they continue to cobble together their data, reporting and planning and review functions, often using desktop spreadsheets as the backbone. In midsize or large companies this can produce false economies. Our research finds that organizations this size that rely on spreadsheets to handle their performance management requirements waste a considerable amount of time trying to overcome the shortcomings of the technologies they are using and do not achieve the kind of return on the time invested they should. Time is a precious commodity to any business, but especially in any organization that has outgrown more informal systems and yet are not giant enough to be able to afford a large IT department.

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Topics: Financial Close, Host Analytics, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management