Host Analytics, which provides cloud-based corporate performance management (CPM) software, recently launched Business Analytics, a new business intelligence toolkit designed to give finance departments in midsize companies a more comprehensive view of their businesses–without having to deploy an enterprise BI suite.
With this announcement, Host Analytics is giving companies a new, pragmatic and streamlined approach to solving the very real problem of integrating and analyzing the ever-increasing amounts of data that they need to understand to make better business decisions.
First, A Little Background on Host Analytics
In case you’re not familiar with Host Analytics, the company was founded in 2000, and has focused on providing cloud-based CPM solutions to midsize companies. More specifically, Host Analytics’ has geared its efforts to the needs of growing companies with complex requirements, providing a comprehensive CPM suite that includes budgeting and planning, revenue planning, forecasting, financial consolidations, reporting, dashboards, scorecarding, advanced modeling capabilities, executive management reporting and data services.
Host Analytics’ formula includes:
- A cloud-based approach to relieve companies from having to buy and maintain IT infrastructure, so they can focus on using the solution to help create competitive and market advantages. This also enables faster deployments.
- An Excel-like user interface to make it easier for new users to get productive quickly.
- Flexible packaging and pricing options, so that customers can buy the suite or individual functional modules–which can be added to and integrated on as-needed basis.
- A partner ecosystem that includes technology and implementation partners such as ERP Logic, Cervello and Paradigm Analytics, to help customers optimize Host Analytics solutions.
The formula has been working well: Host Analytics grew 78% year-over-year in 2010 and 118% in 2011, and is approaching 250 customers. Host Analytics plans to expand to the UK shortly.
New Approach to an Old Problem
With its new Business Analytics capability, Host Analytics tackles an old problem with a new approach. The tool gives finance professionals integrated access, views and reporting tools for data that is siloed in other departments–such as hiring from the HR system, or what’s in the pipeline from CRM. This broader view provides users with a more complete, accurate and up-to-date view of business drivers and issues to help them make better decisions. At the same time, the tool can give other line-of-business managers insight into how their information and performance impacts the rest of the organization.
Host Analytics is doing this by embedding new BI functionality, from cloud-based BI partner Birst, directly into the CPM suite, which Host Analytics manages on their servers to give customers a one-stop shop.
Birst connectors also have Hadoop connectors that companies can use to pull in unstructured data. The tool pulls all this data together to give companies a holistic view for reports, dashboards, scorecards, etc. across all their data fields. The tool also features some nice capabilities to enable users to view reports and dashboards from their mobile devices.
Host Analytics Business Analytics solves an important problem for many midsize companies, who want a standardized way to access, view and report across applications, but lack the time, money or expertise to deploy traditional on-premise BI tools. For customers already using a BI solution, Host Analytics’ open architecture enables customers to use their BI tool on the Host Analytics Corporate Performance Management data for broader reporting needs via open database connectivity (OBDC) drivers.
The new offering provides both a one-stop shop to address CPM requirements and the means to get the benefits of a broader BI tool without having to deploy a big BI suite. This should hold clear appeal for existing Host Analytics midmarket customers who want a more integrated and holistic view of the business. It should also help Host Analytics get on the short-list of more midsize companies that are evaluating CPM, as it offers them a flexible way to expand BI functionality into other parts of the organization when they’re ready without having to deploy more complex BI packages.