Host Analytics has long been a respected provider of enterprise performance management software, improving the budgeting, planning, and analysis capabilities for an ever-increasing number of companies. However, in order to find and satisfy new and existing customers, the company has to provide new features, functionality, and benefits. To make this happen, the company sticks to a quarterly release schedule that introduces new tools for customers.
Major Improvements to the Host Analytics Platform in Winter18
Just as the Summer17 and Fall17 releases offered some amazing improvements, the Winter18 keeps the momentum going, adding such features as Advanced Breakback, Enhanced Self-Serve Visualizations, Enhancements to Planning, Reporting, and Data Integration, and many more smaller improvements.
“In the last year alone, we have introduced three new products to the market and over 175 new capabilities to our cloud EPM offering,” said Dave Kellogg, CEO of Host Analytics. “With the launch of our Winter18 release, we continue the drumbeat of Host Analytics innovation, reinforcing our commitment to enhance every aspect of our product line with new features and functions to deliver even greater value to our customers.”
Host Modeling Improvements: Better Modeling with Advanced Breakback
Winter18 users can now perform more sophisticated modeling via enhanced capabilities of the popular Host Modeling “breakback” feature. This feature allows users to take a given output variable in a model, override it with a new value, and then break the values of its inputs back across the model in the same manner.
Already a highly useful tool for financial professionals, the Winter18 update makes it easier than ever for users to include breakback in calculations to automatically spread a proportional or equal value across connected operational and financial models, and see the impact of modified business drivers in different models.
Host Modeling now also delivers enhanced visual mapping of operational and financial models, graphically showing how each model is mapped to other models, allowing even greater alignment between finance and operations.
Host Dashboards Introduces “Speedometer” for Currently Available Charts
As we recently mentioned, visualization is becoming more and more important, and Host Analytics has found its place in the forefront of data visualization. The Winter18 release has introduced a customizable “speedometer” chart augments the 16 available chart types in Host Dashboards, turning numbers into information-packed visualizations, making it easy to recognize where data patterns fall within a given range, and enabling users to quickly and succinctly highlight problem areas.
Building on this, variance indicator is also available within Key Performance Indicator (KPI) charts, providing additional value-added context into how a company is executing against its plans. Numerous usability enhancements have been added to the product that support self-service data analysis.
The new release features enhanced drag-and-drop charts, filters, and landing page arrangements. Host Dashboards also support an unlimited color pallet for all charts so users have enhanced flexibility to build dashboards in ways that are visually meaningful.
The addition of substitution variables in row and column labels make Host Dashboards more dynamic and flexible, while reducing the administrative burden of updating line items such as time periods in each new planning cycle. In addition, new OLAP-aware member selectors in the dashboard filters make it easier to customize, edit, and understand them on the fly.
While the above points were the major improvements, Host Analytics couldn’t thrive without making the small adjustments that position the software for success. Among the improvements:
- Users can now make top-side adjustments to budgets and forecasts, supporting more flexibility in the planning process, as well as greater alignment with financial closing processes.
- Planning notes have been added to Host Reporting, so users can easily understand the “why” behind changes to the numbers without having to engage in the time-consuming process of contacting the budget preparer directly.
- In order to help multinationals with complex currency rules, Host Analytics has enhanced the application programming interface, allowing them to automate the loading of currency exceptions.
- Searching and Bookmarking has been made easier in dynamic reports and dashboards, allowing users to locate information faster.
- The addition of desktop notifications makes it easier for users to multitask and not waste time waiting for a report.