Host Analytics, the leading provider of scalable, cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions, today announced Winter18 — the latest release of its award-winning software for financial planning, modeling, consolidation, and reporting. With an eye on innovation, the new features unveiled in Winter18 continue to meet customer demands with more than 50 new functionality and usability enhancements that allow businesses to connect operational and financial models; deliver more insight into company performance; and provide a more flexible budgeting process.
“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.”
More Sophisticated Modeling with Advanced Breakback
Winter18 users can now perform more sophisticated modeling via enhanced capabilities of the popular Host Modeling “breakback” feature, which 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. With Winter18, it’s 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. For instance, an update to products in a sales revenue model can automatically trigger an update using breakback in a store allocation model, as well as a production model, which in turn feeds into the corporate financial model.
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.
Enhanced Self-Serve Visualizations and Usability in Host Dashboards
A new 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. A 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.
Enhancements to Planning, Reporting, and Data Integration
Other new features allow users to make top-side adjustments to budgets and forecasts, supporting more flexibility in the planning process, as well as greater alignment with financial closing processes.
To increase insight into the numbers and provide greater collaboration, planning notes can now be 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.
Within the Host Analytics platform, the application programing interface has been enhanced, enabling large multinational companies with complex currency rules to automate the loading of currency exceptions, saving time and effort. Improvements have also been made to bookmarking and searching on dynamic reports and dashboards, allowing users to locate information faster, while the incorporation of desktop notifications supports user multitasking and greater responsiveness.
“Host continues to be a leader in the cloud CPM market with high performance in core planning, modeling, reporting, and consolidation functionality,” said Barbara Peck, principal analyst, Nucleus Research. “Our CPM Technology Value Matrix 2018 shows that customers reported overall good support, a positive deployment process, high ease-of-use; and praised the integration capabilities of the product. With Host Analytics delivering new functionality, we see Host continuing to increase its position relative to the market in 2018.”