Overall Satisfaction with Planful (formerly Host Analytics)
Host Analytics has dramatically reduced the time it takes to produce a forecast. Before we implemented Host Analytics, we struggled to complete a single mid-year forecast each year that was already outdated by the time it was published. We are now completing quarterly forecasts and higher level monthly "flashcasts". By 2017 we will be on a monthly rolling forecast schedule.
- Eliminates the risk associated with version control
- Provides ability to slice and dice data across multiple dimensions and scenarios very quickly
- Provides a single source of truth for planning and reporting
- Host Analytics is constantly making improvements. Other than the relatively new Modeling (SpotlightXL) functionality which is still in it's infancy, I can't think of anything in desperate need of improvement.
- We've been able to grow the business and not add any additional finance/accounting staff.
- We are now producing formal quarterly forecasts and have the ability to update the current forecast scenario in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks. This has allowed us more time to react to risks and opportunites
I can't speak about other products from a user perspective because I've not tried any of the competitors. However, I can say that during the evaluation process, Host Analytics sold themselves as being a "partner" and they have absolutely lived up to that billing. The service and support have been second to none.
Host Analytics has proven to be particularly useful during the budget process - specifically related to the generation of multiple iterations. For me, it has always been very important to provide a trail or bridge from one iteration to the next. People become comfortable with the current iteration and need to fully understand what changed before they can support the current version. Host Analtytics provides the ability to lock the current scenario and create a new one in minutes and then quickly compare the two iterations across dimensions via reporting. It's a great way to check for reasonableness and ensure nothing major was missed.