CareStar recommends Adaptive Insights for reporting and dashboards
Jack Kersjes | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated May 11, 2018

CareStar recommends Adaptive Insights for reporting and dashboards

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Adaptive Insights

My rating of 9 is really a composite of two ratings. For the users, I would give it a 10. But for administrators, I would give it more of an 8. That is because there is definitely a learning curve for the admins. It has a fair level of complexity (which is necessary), especially in the formulas and certain types of sheets. It is a product worth mastering, but it does take time to learn.
We use it for financial statements, budgeting, forecasting, and other operational reporting. We also use the dashboard for both financial and operational data. It is used by our executives and all our department directors. It has greatly streamlined our budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting processes. Additionally, the dashboard provides a means to communicate KPIs in an efficient manner.
  • Financial Reporting - financial statements are done instantaneously once the books are closed. There is no processing required. Recipients of the reports can obtain everything they need self-service. There is no distribution process required.
  • Budgeting/forecasting - We converted our Excel process (which used 30 linked workbooks, 20 sheets each, and 50+ formulas each sheet, for a total of 30,000 formulas) to Adaptive. Now that the model is set up, new forecasts can be set up in minutes, rather than hours/days. The whole model is driver-based and easy to manage. It is much more intuitive for our directors, too. All they need to supply are updated drivers to run a new budget or forecast.
  • Dashboard - We now have a company-wide mechanism for communicating KPIs, and both financial and non-financial data. Data can be presented both visually or in numeric formats.
  • The Adaptive Planning portion of the suite is very mature and has few short-comings. The biggest improvement I can think of is the ability for formulas to cross versions.
  • The Adaptive Discovery (dashboard) portion of the suite is much less mature. There are many chart types not available that are in Excel. For example, I would like to have an X-Y scatter chart to use. Also, some of the dial (chart) types have very little formatting options (like pie charts).
  • While the object of the web-based product is to eliminate paper printing, there are times when it is necessary to print financial statements. It would be nice to print directly to pdf with the ability to format the reports.
  • Cycle time for processing financial statements, budgets, and forecasts are greatly reduced.
  • Visibility of company metrics and drivers has been increased across the company.
  • The ease and ability to quickly create multiple forecasts using different scenarios is now available.

There has been a much greater focus on what drives the company profitability, and what it takes to improve those drivers. By focusing on those drivers, our executives and directors can take action that directly affect the bottom line, as opposed to simply "trying to cut costs" in a general sense.

With Adaptive, we report on these same drivers that, not only make them more visible, but greater effort is made to improve their accuracy and to understand how they impact the business.

All of this leads to more meaningful financial statements, reports, dashboards, and budgets. With Adaptive's distribution, this information can be disseminated very quickly.

The first-year setup will take a great deal of time, as you would expect. But once the model and dashboards are setup, it takes a great deal less time to maintain them. I found the second cycle to be much more focused on tweaking the model, and understating how the business operates, and how it can be better represented in the model. After that, it becomes an exercise of discovering what data is available in the company, and how it can be presented in a meaningful way.

To summarize, it does allow for greater time to do analysis, but don't expect that the first year.

We did not go through a full-blown software selection process, nor have I used other products in the past. Previous to Adaptive, we used Management Reporter (formerly FRx, now part of Microsoft Dynamics GP) for our financial statements, and Excel for our budgeting. Adaptive is far superior to either of those.

We pursued Adaptive mainly through word of mouth. When discussing the availability of products with other accounting professionals, it was clear Adaptive was becoming the industry leader for our company size. We had a demo of the product presented by them. Since we liked it so much, we decided to go with them even though we had not reviewed other products.

Adaptive is well suited to present data (both financial and non-financial) in the form of financial statements, reports, budgets, forecasts, and dashboards to a distributed audience. That is, any data that can be accessed, and then summarized and presented for analytical and reporting purposes. The web-based platform allows for end-user access anywhere.

Where it is less appropriate, and often mistakenly so by those not directly involved in administering the product, is to try to use it as a replacement for an operational database and operational report writer. For example, in a SQL database, it would be better to write operating level reports directly in that database as SQL reports.

Workday Adaptive Planning Feature Ratings

Long-term financial planning
Financial budgeting
Scenario modeling
Management reporting
Financial Statement Reporting
Management Reporting
Personalized dashboards
Color-coded scorecards
Cost and profitability analysis
Key Performance Indicator setting
Flat file integration
Excel data integration
Direct links to 3rd-party data sources

Evaluating Adaptive Insights and Competitors

Yes - We use Adaptive Insights for all of our financial statement output. It replaced Management Reporter (formerly FRx), which is now part of the Microsoft Dynamics GP suite. Using AI for financial statements is far superior for speed, ease of use, and ease of distribution. For the budgeting and planning cycle, AI replaced about 30 linked Excel workbooks, each averaging 20 sheets, each sheet averaging 50 formulas (that muliplies out to 30,000 formulas!). Needless to say, budgeting in Excel was no longer feasible for our organization.
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Third-party Reviews
We did all of our reviews on-line and word-of-mouth. We did not do any other formal vendor demonstrations other than Adaptive Insights. Based on our research, it was already clear to us that AI was rising to the top of the small to mid-size FP&A market. It had the highest customer satisfaction scores and usability ratings. Based on that, we opted to only view AI and, unless we did not like what we saw, would continue with them.
We have been using it about two years now and everything is working as expected, and we are very happy with it. I would give it my highest recommendation. Given our success with the product, I have no regrets as to how we did the evaluation and selection process, and would not change anything. So much product and customer satisfaction information is available online now (such as this site), that it greatly streamlines the process. The "sales pitch" does not supply objective information, as they all say they have the best product. If I were in the market for another kind of product, I would do the search in the same way.