How You Work vs. How You Should Work

Despite the existence of modern technologies, the world of FP&A has scarcely been touched. One possible reason is that FP&A leads the direction of an organization, which means that disrupting the way things are done may bear aftershocks.

Since this is the case, teams find themselves continuing to lean on antiquated methods of work, particularly Excel spreadsheets, and miss out on the power of database, cloud, and modern development tools that exist today. By refraining from tapping into the potential of big data, FP&A teams lose significant resources.

A tool that allows you to keep working as you always have while concurrently leveraging big data is an asset. DataRails recognized this insight and designed a tool that addresses this very issue.

DataRails, a platform that automates Excel-based consolidation processes, aims to help you embrace optimization by significantly enhancing the way you work without asking you to change. With DataRails you can save time, gain newfound insights, and finally have confidence in what your numbers are telling you.

To help you get a clear picture of what DataRails can do we decided to turn to the people who can probably describe it best- our users.  

We turned to existing customers and asked them to describe work before and after using the platform. We aim to help you understand the experience of working with the system and convey how you can significantly enhance your work, without changing the way you work, with DataRails.


BEFORE

Messy processes

Every finance department relies heavily on spreadsheets. To its detriment, Excel is not always the best tool to use. When dealing with Excel there are MANY issues that can arise:

  • Spreadsheets that are shared between co-workers and sent back and forth can wreak havoc. Keeping tabs on which version is the relevant one in your inbox (ex. is it version 1, 5, or 4NEW?) can be a time-consuming nightmare.
    • Different business units may send the same kind of information that needs to be consolidated, but their formats and structures are all over the place.
    • So many sheets, so many formats, so little unity.
    • To your horror, you might be working with the wrong numbers.

Manual work

  • Manual work by definition is a time-waster, see below:

Manual work=not automatic= hand-operated= waste of time

Ambiguous data

While Excel is great for recording numbers, its not as great at telling you where they came from. Some questions that may arise include:

  • Who made this change?
  • Was this formula always here?
  • Where did these numbers come from?
  • How can I trust that what I’m seeing is accurate?

When dealing with financial data these are all important, valid questions.  Yet if you require clarifications or think Excel will help you understand any inconsistencies or holes you encounter, you are sadly mistaken.

AFTER

Process Automation

Working with DataRails is easy- you continue to work as you always have, and DataRails adjusts to you. While you work as usual, DataRails automates your consolidation processes. The platform eliminates the pesky task of having to merge all the different Excels you receive and work with, meaning you can spend more time on tasks that matter.

  • No more manually merging spreadsheets. Tedious copy/paste, be gone!
  • Enjoy automatic data aggregation and reduce your manual spreadsheet work by over ¾.
  • Automated consolidation means you save time, time you can dedicate to value-added work.
  • Leverage speed to make the right decisions at the right time.

Data Consolidation

DataRails transforms your data into a logical dataset as soon as you hit save. Once your spreadsheets are synced, any change made is automatically updated into the centralized database. This allows you to engage in an active planning process that is collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous. 

By continuously utilizing data from all corners of your business, you can produce budgets and forecasts you can trust.

Immediate Data Integrity

With DataRails you don’t just get a story- you get the whole story. View the full history of a cell, including values and formulas that have changed over time.

Count on one version of the truth, and trust that it will help you make the right decisions. Finally, you can understand where your numbers came from and trust that they are accurate.

  • Take advantage of full version control
  • Take a look at the full history of a cell: A cell-level audit trail shows you how values and formulas changed over time
  • Logically compare any two versions of a spreadsheet from any point in time
  • Count on one version of the truth, and trust that it will help you make the right decisions

Business Insights

Produce customized visualizations to uncover hidden insights from previously untapped data. Create accurate reports and models that pull data from your centralized database for real-time analysis of any possible scenario and make predictions based on data you can trust.

Management Reporting

Easily access and extract vital information for reporting such as data on revenue, expenses, and profitability. Keep tabs on current figures and get an accurate picture of where the numbers are going.

Additional features include:

Drill-downs that reveal valuable insights

With data from all corners of your business centralized in one place, exercise drill-downs to the lowest level line-item in order to extract insights that were previously inaccessible.

Take advantage of fully customizable charts and visuals

Display your data as you wish to get your point across as best as possible.

Integrate DataRails with all your favorite systems

DataRails integrates with NetSuite, SAP, Oracle, Infor, Epicor, and more.

With DataRails, you can finally plan smarter.

About DataRails

DataRails’ platform revolutionizes the way FP&A work is done.  Our technology automates spreadsheet work that is all too often done manually, thereby saving you time and preventing errors. With DataRails’ FP&A solution you can save time, gain newfound insights, and finally have confidence in what your numbers are telling you. All this is done without changing the way you work on Excel so you can keep doing what you’re doing, but better.

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