Overall Satisfaction with Planful (formerly Host Analytics)
- Seems to be useful for the Finance Team in assessing budget vs targets and actuals
- The user experience and usability is among the worst I've seen in a browser based product. For example, no inline editing, popup windows instead of drill downs into the data, and frequently slow rendering of views & reports.
- Works only on Internet Explorer and requires a multitude of Visual Basic add ins. Amazing as it sounds, the first time you run, it will download multiple VB IE control packages including MS Office extensions. Needless to say, no Mac support.
- Any change made to expenses, prepaids, etc, in any input view requires a recalculation and running a report to see the net effects. The have a new "feature" in the current release where you can open an additional browser window so you can recalculate and rerun the report in the other window. This is hardly a good solution and is painfully slow approach to seeing the effects of an expense change.
- This product needs a complete rewrite.
- Host Analytics is so painful to use that I use it only when absolutely necessary, so it fails to be a tool enhancing the financial visibility of the business. It presumably works well for finance, but it fails to empower the rest of the organization to be an active participant in financial planning of the enterprise.
- Host Analytics is time consuming to add new data - new people, new prepaids, etc. To create any significant set of new data (e.g. a hiring plan) means preparing a file for the finance team to upload on the back end or hours of clicking and filling in modal dialogs.
- Host seems to support well our financial processes - the finance team is able to get the reports they need. The tool supports Excel downloads quite well which is good since the online UI is so poor.
I would not recommend Host Analytics from an end user, executive perspective. By comparison, Adaptive Planning is a superior product in all facets. All financial management and planning systems are complex, but Adaptive offers a superior user experience with inline editing, better sorting, easier reporting, and much faster data entry. In addition, the numbers in Adaptive are instantly updated in the view, so no separate calculate and reporting step is required. (I don't have a vested interest in Adaptive, I've just used both products as a engineering executive).
Using Planful (formerly Host Analytics)
I would never buy this product and would strongly encourage a CFO to select Adaptive Planning instead. Host Analytics really is one of the worst over all user experiences you can imagine.