Adaptive Insights: What can it do for your business?

For many businesses, it’s easy to get stuck using the same internal software for everyday processes. After all, a lack of time for business owners and management can turn into survival mode, and the prospect of change can seem daunting when simple tasks dominate the list of priorities.

The old adage, ‘being too busy working in the business rather than on the business’ can mean missing out on the latest technologies, including new kid on the block, Adaptive Insights. A cloud-based performance management solution, Adaptive Insights uses a simple interface to help businesses with budgeting, forecasting, financial planning, financial close, consolidations and data visualisation dashboards offering company-wide visibility through swathes of everyday data.

At its heart, the software is a time-saver. It can save up to 70% of financial planning and budgeting time, while also becoming a live reporting system. It’s also designed to look remarkably similar to Microsoft Excel, ensuring finance teams can work in their digital comfort zone.

Adaptive Insights is a product of Silicon Valley and has been popular in the US and Australia for some time, yet it’s only just getting noticed in New Zealand now. Overseas, it has already made a huge splash against bigger competitors like Oracle, SAP and IBM. In comparison to those brands, Adaptive Insights software has a much lower subscription charge, making it a good fit for businesses in the SME community.

Andrew Wood, an Associate Director at Deloitte Private, is pioneering this software for Deloitte Private’s clients, the first of the Big Four in New Zealand to offer it as a service. He used it as a client himself first, and found that the time he saved in his financial duties gave him plenty of time to consider sharing the benefits with others. Wood has seen exactly what Adaptive Insights can do, saying:

“It can hone in on client’s value drivers and automate all their reporting at the end of it, meaning that we plan and report on value, not just a plain variance analysis. To get information to plan and report on what counts, we integrate data from any system such as financial systems, CRMs, inventory systems, or even website data keeping it all in one place.

"Also, with just the hit of a button, all their financial, management reports and dashboards are done on an ongoing basis. Also being cloud-based, we can give budget holders or business unit managers’ access to the software, allowing them to plan their area, meaning all data is in one place and no longer use a group of excel spreadsheets that need compiling and merging manually saving huge amounts of expensive finance resource time.”

Still, making a larger investment can be a sticky issue for businesses, especially smaller ones. Why use a significant part of the budget for a finance software? “In reality”, Wood says, “you’ll pay it off with the time saved. Typical return on investment is less than 12 months.”

The process is usually quick for those who’d consider implementing this software. The team at Deloitte Private begins with a performance management workshop to ascertain exactly what the key value drivers and KPIs are that we want to plan and report on in Adaptive Insights, and then collects all the relevant data from across the business.

From there, they build the financial model to streamline financial planning and to automate the reports and dashboards, allowing clients to pinpoint the reasons behind revenue shifts with precision. All in all, most implementations take between two to eight weeks, depending on the size of the company.

As an import to New Zealand, Adaptive Insights has quietly entered the financial software arena. For those businesses who find their precious work time dominated by manual Excel budgets and reports, leaving no time for analysis, this software is ready to become a hidden employee behind the scenes – and it won’t take up space at the coffee machine! The balance is between spend and reward, but the leap in innovation can make the addition of Adaptive Insights a worthwhile consideration.

To find out more about Adaptive Insights, contact Andrew Wood at awood@deloitte.co.nz.

23 October, 2018 by Andrew Wood,

Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood

Andrew Wood is an Associate Director in Tax & Private, who is leading Deloitte’s new offering of the Adaptive Insights platform.

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