Host Analytics, the leading provider of scalable, cloud-based enterprise performance management (EPM) solutions, today announced that National Public Radio (NPR), a leading multimedia news organization and radio program producer, runs its financial planning and reporting on Host Analytics. The nonprofit media organization benefits from a single unified source of real-time financial data, which NPR uses for business performance insights and a basis for decision making.
NPR has experienced explosive growth across all areas of its business since its founding in 1970 with 30 employees and 90 charter member stations. Today, the multiplatform news organization oversees a network of 1,000 affiliate member stations in the United States, with more than 36.6 million radio listeners tuning in to its programming each week. NPR member stations receive support from public and privately sourced contributions, and in turn, draw on this mix of revenue to pay NPR for air time. In order to manage the budget and oversee financials into this growing and increasingly complex business, NPR turned to Host Analytics.
Why Host Analytics?
Prior to implementing Host Analytics in 2010, NPR pored over hundreds of Excel spreadsheets to manage a $200M annual budget that encompassed 14 departments and 140 cost centers. Processes such as budgeting dragged on for months, and reporting often derailed the state of their financial close. After considering multiple solutions, NPR implemented Host Analytics to drive a more automated, and accurate planning and budgeting process. It also armed the finance team with critical data to better and more effectively serve its member stations and management team.
“Our business depends on effective planning and accurate tracking across complex revenue streams, so having access to timely data that can easily be reported on is critical for us,” said NPR Senior Financial Analyst Reggie Newsome. “Host Analytics has helped us cut our annual budgeting process in half, and our finance team can now report with a level of accuracy and confidence that we didn’t have before, and in significantly less time — it really is a huge improvement in the way we operate our business.”
Since deploying Host Analytics, NPR has realized significant benefits including:
Agile Budgeting Process. Annual budgeting process has been cut in half with a fully automated system that updates continuously with a rolling 18-month forecast. With Host Analytics, NPR replaced hundreds of Excel spreadsheets and spends less time collecting, validating, and formatting data, and more time on strategy.
Operational Efficiency. With advanced financial analytics, NPR analysts can dig deeper into the data to understand how an array of factors — including production and operational costs, hours, ratings and more — impact profitability. Better visibility and smarter decisions have contributed to a 26 percent gain in ratings for morning programming, as well as a 43 percent gain in afternoon programming. NPR is now looking at using the system to more accurately map out costs and expenses for shows and streamline data collection for budgeting new shows.
Real-Time Financial Reporting. As a single financial system of record that provides real-time visibility, Host Analytics provides NPR with a scalable, low-maintenance way to enable financial analysis across its network of member stations, while at the same time enhancing the quality and timeliness of financial reporting that has helped the organization engineer a savings of nearly $50,000 in labor costs. Host Analytics also offers managers self-service access to detailed reports about the state of the business and what they are contributing to the organization on a monthly basis.