A Better Financial Planning Software

Financial advisors and corporate finance departments are always looking for better ways to plan. People working in this field utilize existing data to help determine the best decisions moving forward. Cash, asset and investment figures, along with educated assumptions about the future, give finance departments enough information to inform key decision makers about forthcoming deals.

As these deals can have major impacts on individuals and businesses, it is vital that financial analysts are using a professional software, capable of handling multiple scenarios. With a multi-dimensional calculation engine, Quantrix Modeler is able to handle these types of tasks.

With ‘one-click,’ Quantrix users can add scenarios into their models to ask ‘what-if’ questions.

Further, analysts should use a software that is accurate. Corporate managers should feel confident that they are making sound decisions, backed up by their data. Unlike some traditional spreadsheet tools, Quantrix utilizes natural language formulas, which often decrease the number of overall formulas. Cell-based formulas calculate based on the cell’s location (ex. = B34 – C34).  Natural language formulas, on the other hand, calculate based on titles, as shown below:

Without as many formulas, there is less to audit and worry about. However, it is nonetheless important for users to have the ability to go back and verify their calculations. That is why Quantrix Modeler offers a dependency inspector. The Quantrix dependency inspector allows users the ability to trace their formulas back to their start.

Once calculated, the models can easily be shared in Qloud, the Quantrix online environment. Management can review and edit the financial planning models, then make their decisions. The ease of use and peace of mind that Quantrix offers is a perfect combination for anyone looking to use financial planning software.

Want to try the software? Request a free trial!

Online Spreadsheets: A Look Ahead

Corporations and consultants have evolving needs when it comes to online spreadsheets. This blog discusses those needs and how Quantrix can meet them.

For Businesses:

Today, companies require high levels of collaboration and interaction. Many businesses employ people working in locations all over the globe. With such geographical diversity, it is crucial that information reaches key decision makers in a timely manner. Some of the most important pieces of information for management to review are financial models and the accompanying spreadsheets. Historically, in an online world, companies had to email files back and forth. More recently, files have been saved in a centralized cloud for people to review. Quantrix gives companies a vision of the future. Employees can create models in a structured multi-dimensional platform via Quantrix Modeler and then upload the models to Quantrix Qloud.

Qloud is the Quantrix online environment where users can review, edit and share their models. Qloud allows users the ability to grant unlimited access to specific users, while restricting figures/numbers from others. For example, one manager is granted access solely to the finances of the eastern region and another is granted access solely to the western region. Through enhanced roles and permissions functionality, this specificity can be tailored to fit your company needs. Additionally, when granted access, the manager Qloud user can then make edits to the model, changing scenarios to see different views of the future. Further, after making modifications, users can save their changes and add notes so that any future user will know that adjustments have been made.  See image below.

In Qloud, multiple people can work on the model at once with the ability to see changes in real time and communicate with each other directly through the online chat feature. This type of immediate interaction is critically important for companies needing a quick turn-around, or for companies with highly collaborative environments.

For Consultants:

Consultants work to uncover and solve a variety of business matters. Although client needs may differ, the paths that consultants take can be similar:

Consultants:

  1. Collect the data
  2. Organize and model the data
  3. Tell the story of the data
  4. Make recommendations

To manage the data involved in this process, consultants have many tools at their disposal. However, these options are not created equal. Consultants want the same type of coverage explained in the business section above plus they also have the added concern of their own privacy. Consultants may use a specific methodology they do not want to share. With Quantrix, consultants can show the necessary results to their clients without showing their underlying processes, protecting their highly valuable intellectual property.

Summary:

The world is constantly evolving. The software that businesses and consultants use needs to evolve at the same pace. When corporations have offices all over the world, it is vital that they can communicate and collaborate as quickly as necessary for success. Likewise, consultants must be able to create and share their figures with ease while maintaining model integrity. Instead of relying on spreadsheets, use Quantrix.  Our software is the best option for any online collaborative modeling use case.

Click here to book a demo or click here to download a free trial!

Mike Salisbury, Director

The Best Forecasting Software

Before you leave your home in the morning, you probably ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is the weather going to be like today?
  • Is traffic going to slow my commute to work?
  • Should I bring a coat?

To get the answers to these questions, you can watch your local newscast on TV or check your weather & traffic apps on your phone. Either way, you want to be prepared in case you encounter inclement conditions and/or gridlock. Your ultimate decision of what to wear and what time to leave is based on a forecast. Forecasts help people plan for the future.

The power of forecasting goes well beyond getting to work on time. In fact, businesses of all sizes create financial forecasts to better prepare for the days, months and years ahead. Financial results, agricultural yields and energy production levels can vary greatly depending on conditions that may or may not be within your control. Companies want to know how to prepare for these conditions by building robust forecasting models. The best way to prepare is to have a reliable forecasting software running your model calculations.

Organizations make business decisions based on the forecast models they create. The software that constructs these models needs to be reliable and trustworthy. A multi-dimensional calculation engine allows modelers the ability to react in real time with greater precision. In Quantrix, you can create a new matrix that incudes all your assumptions about the future and link it back to your main model with ease. Further, with just ‘one click’ you are able to add new scenarios into your model to ask those critically important ‘what-if’ questions.

Whether you are looking one week or ten years down the road, to properly forecast scenarios, you need access to existing data. Today, data comes in a variety of forms and from a slew of sources. Therefore, it is crucial that your software can import data from just about anywhere. Quantrix allows users to pull data from an existing relational database, another Quantrix matrix, Salesforce, a text file or an XML source. Once your data is in Quantrix, you can run your calculations with natural language formulas, which increase your model’s accuracy. The ability to audit your models and formulas with the built-in dependency inspector feature is critically important when creating an accurate picture of the future.

As the forecast model takes shape, key decision makers will want to be able to view the results. Qloud, the Quantrix online environment, promotes sharing and collaboration of models. Management can view and/or edit the results of the model immediately in an easy-to-use web-based format.

Quantrix software truly brings new insights and power to the forecasting activities in your organization.

Click Here to see a real-world forecast application of Quantrix software. Or click here to check out some sample Quantrix models.

Mike Salisbury, Director

The Future of Financial Modeling

What is an ideal financial model?

An ideal financial model:

  • accurately represents your business
  • is flexible in order to adjust to the inevitable changes in your business
  • is shareable with your colleagues
  • is free from errors

In an ideal situation, all four aspects would describe every model. However, in reality, models created in traditional tools can be difficult to create, maintain and verify. While traditional spreadsheets allow users to build more basic structures, they can struggle in the presence of larger datasets and shifting circumstances. New prospects often express this struggle when I talk to them about Quantrix. Companies rely on their financial models to make critical business decisions. As a result, decision makers must trust that their models are accurate and up-to-date. Trust, in this case, comes in the form of using a reliable software application.

Traditional spreadsheets can become overwhelmed with too many complex formulas and unstructured data. To combat these issues, modelers must use software with powerful calculation engines, capable of reducing formulas and errors. Additionally, modelers require software that simplifies complex structure into something that is easy to comprehend. For instance, if a company wants a breakdown of their finances by year, by product type, by quarter, by region, then it is crucial that their software can handle the dimensionality this analysis requires.

The answer to all these issues (and the future of financial modeling) is a multi-dimensional application. The world within which your business operates is not two-dimensional, your financial software should not be either. A multi-dimensional calculation engine, such as Quantrix, allows modelers the opportunity to write formulas based on actual language (ex. Gross Profit = Sales – Expenses) rather than based on cell location (Ex. = A25 – B25).

This type of formula writing can significantly reduce time and increase accuracy with respect to model creation. Further, each dimension (Product Type, Year, Quarter, Region, Scenario) can be added, filtered and pivoted for ease of use.

Once a model has been created, many organizations will require that the model is shared within the company. Management will want to review or make changes to the model. Therefore, an online platform for viewing and editing is important.

Quantrix provides an all-encompassing solution. Quantrix Modeler allows for robust model building and Quantrix Qloud offers an online environment for organizations of all sizes to collaborate, share and manage their models in an easy-to-use web interface. Quantrix is the future of financial modeling.

Mike Salisbury, Director

Mike’s Conference Favorites – Part 3

The 2019 edition of the Quantrix Dimension Conference is coming up on October 1-3! I am looking forward to once again welcoming our attendees from all around the world to Portland, Maine, USA.

In my prior posts, I shared two of my favorite aspects of the conference: feedback, feedback, feedback and the Customer Use Case Presentations. In this post, I focus on the city where the conference is held: Portland, ME.

 

 

Showing off Portland and the great State of Maine – Maine is a great state to live and work in and I am very thankful I can do both. Maine’s natural wonder abounds in its majestic mountains, scenic lakes and deep forests. Picturesque beaches provide access to numerous bays and the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Portland is a vibrant city with a growing technology community and a tremendous restaurant scene.

Each year we show off Portland, Maine through our conference’s social events and this year will be no different. On the first evening, we will participate in an Escape Room adventure followed by drinks and cocktails in Portland’s famous Old Port District. On the second evening, we will board the Islander for a 1.5 hour cruise of Casco Bay and then enjoy a traditional Maine lobster dinner (alternative entrees available) at the Inn on Peaks Island. All of this is included in your conference registration and you can bring a guest to all the social events for just $150!

This year we are making it more affordable than ever to attend our conference. The Super Early Bird pricing is $795 per attendee, but hurry, this price level expires May 31.

While Portland has an accessible and modern regional airport, Boston’s Logan Airport is only 1 hour 45 minutes away via a non-stop bus or car. Portland, Maine, USA is easier to get to than you may think!

I hope to see you there!

Mike Salisbury, Director

Register your interest today!

 

#QuantrixEvolved

Mike’s Conference Favorites – Part 2

The 2019 edition of the Quantrix Dimension Conference is coming up! Join us in beautiful Portland, ME, USA from October 1 – October 3, 2019! In my prior blog post, I discussed one of my conference favorites: feedback, feedback, feedback! This post, I will focus on another favorite: our Customer Use Case Presentations.

Customer Use Case Presentations – Each year, we have some outstanding use case presentations about how our customers use the software. One of the unique things about Quantrix is that you can use it for just about any data driven dimensional problem. Our attendees, and us folks at Quantrix, always learn something new in each customer use case presentation.

Here are some presentations from last year:

Quantrix in Product Wheels in Manufacturing

Rich Lopez of Litehouse Foods presented at the Quantrix Dimension 2018 conference about the use of Quantrix to develop product wheels to drive efficiencies in the company’s manufacturing process.

Quantrix in Environmental Waste Management

Andy Keir of Keir Corp presented at the Quantrix Dimension 2018 conference about the use of Quantrix in helping municipalities and governments manage the financial impacts of waste management.

Quantrix in Multifamily Real Estate Management

Mike Stephenson, Director of Business Intelligence for BH Management Services, LLC, presented at the Quantrix Dimension 2018 conference about the use of Quantrix for budgeting, planning and forecasting in the multifamily property management space.

 

While these presentations may focus on Quantrix in a specific industry, the Quantrix techniques they employ are often applicable for many different use cases. In fact, in our post-conference survey’s, the use case presentations are always rated by our attendees as the most valuable session of the conference. They are well worth the price of admission. Would you like to share your Quantrix use case story at our conference? Please let me know.

This year we are making it more affordable than ever to attend our conference. The Super Early Bird pricing is $795 per attendee, but hurry, this price level expires May 31.

While Portland has a modern and accessible regional airport, Boston’s Logan Airport is only 1 hour 45 minutes away via a non-stop bus or car. Portland, ME, USA is easier to get to than you may think!

I hope to see you there!

Mike Salisbury, Quantrix Director

Register your interest today!

Mike’s Conference Favorites – Part 1

The 2019 edition of the Quantrix Dimension Conference is now set for October 1-3! I am looking forward to once again welcoming our attendees from all around the world to Portland, Maine, USA. The 2018 edition of the conference was another great success. One of our attendees and presenters, Dan Murray from Interworks, wrote up a nice recap of the 2018 conference in his blog.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share with you on the Quantrix blog some of my favorite things about the conference. In this post, I focus on feedback!

 

 

Feedback, Feedback, Feedback! – The conference is great opportunity for everyone on our team to interact with our customers and receive feedback. As an attendee, you have a chance to talk directly to the people who develop our amazing product. In fact, at a prior conference, a Quantrix developer received a piece of product enhancement feedback from a customer. Using that information, the developer then built a working prototype which was shown at the end of the conference! Further, this product enhancement eventually made it into an official release of our product! This direct interaction is something you just don’t get at other conferences and we all highly value this collaboration.

This year we are making it more affordable than ever to attend our conference. The Super Early Bird pricing is $795 per attendee, but hurry, because this price level expires May 31.

While Portland has a modern and accessible regional airport, Boston’s Logan Airport is only 1 hour 45 minutes away via a non-stop bus or car. Portland, Maine, USA is easier to get to than you may think!

I hope to see you there!

By, Mike Salisbury – Director

Register your interest today!

 

Dimension Conference returns in September 2018 #QuantrixEvolved

“Best value conference of any I’ve ever attended after 25 years of the business.”

“I’m always so impressed with the development team and their dedication!”

“Very pleased with the conference and great to meet others that use the program”

These are quotes from participants of last year’s user conference. It is truly a fantastic event!  I cordially invite everyone that is interested in Quantrix to our annual Dimension user conference in Portland, Maine USA September 11-13. Check out this great video recap of last year’s event.

At the conference it is gratifying to see what our users are doing with Quantrix. The use case presentations by our customers are always a big hit and very informative. We also help the less experienced users of Quantrix see the potential and power of the application for their day-to-day modeling needs. We love to hear Quantrix users say they have kicked the Excel habit for their forward-looking modeling tasks.

At this year’s conference we will unveil Release 2019 which is a new update to Quantrix Modeler and Qloud. Release 2019 will include a full redesign of the modeler data integration technologies and we will demonstrate an all-new Qloud scheduler feature. We are very excited to show you these new features along with a host of other improvements that our development team is currently hard at work on.

We will take our traditional cruise of Casco Bay on the Islander and we are excited to use a new venue for our dinner this year. The Harbor View at Jones Landing will host us and the Maine Lobster Bake Company will provide our traditional Maine Lobster dinner (non-lobster and vegan entrées available).

We already have multiple attendees already registered from the USA, Canada, Switzerland and France and interest in the event is building each day. We have a limited number of super early bird tickets available at $995 USD, but they will soon sell out so please don’t delay in registering if you would like to attend this year. Learn more about the conference at our Dimension 2018 web page.

I hope you can join us in Portland this year!

Register for Dimension 2018 now

By Michael Salisbury 

What is financial modeling?

Financial modeling is one of the most desired skill sets to have when working within finance. But the meaning and capabilities it entails have now evolved so much more from just being an Excel guru!

Traditionally, a financial model was an Excel-based tool used to forecast the financials of a business based on looking at past performance. From a basic model, much more can be built, but it still remains essential to get the foundations accurate, easy to use, scalable and flexible.

Advanced models include cash flow, mergers and acquisition and leverage buyout – and these models can cause some serious headaches. They are often time consuming to complete, and keeping them accurate can be a pretty laborious task. Fortunately, for the many who have sat battling against the limitations of using traditional spreadsheets, financial modeling has evolved.

Financial models are hugely useful, but only if the information within them is correct. It’s no secret that over 90% of business-critical spreadsheets contain some sort of error. Financial modeling has now progressed, mainly due to the different tools available aiming to make the process simpler and more accurate.

If you’re still using traditional spreadsheets it might be time to start exploring your options… you could be making your job much harder than it needs to be!

Quantrix keeps the three main components of a model separate for logical reasons. You have your separate formula pane comprising your model’s formula. This isn’t as scary as it sounds. In Quantrix, our natural language formula means you actually write 95% less formula than Excel, on average. You can clearly view the logic to your model making processes such as auditing much more efficient.

The structure of Quantrix means your models are fully scalable and flexible. Always-on pivoting enables you to easily view your data in a variety of ways with a very simple drag and drop user interface. You can also complete previously tedious and repetitive tasks with ease. Take adding a year on to a forecast, for example. With Quantrix you can do this just by just pressing one key!

Lastly, the presentation of your model can be easy to view and interpret by everyone across the business rather than just the spreadsheet ninja who built the model! A new, interactive view of your model enables your users to easily create those ‘what if’ type analyses to generate real value from your data in real time. Increasing the value of a financial model really comes from making sure your model is 100% accurate, as well as giving business decision makers the ability to use and understand the findings.

Have you ever taken a look at the value of your financial models? Chances are, there’s a lot of uncovered usefulness if you’re using traditional and now dated technology. Although there’s a catalogue of financial modeling courses now available, you should also consider a next-generation tool, such as Quantrix, which can make your financial modeling much simpler – right from the word go.

Don’t believe us? Try Quantrix for yourself with our free 30-day trial. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve!

Get a free trial  connect with an expert

The Power of Collaboration in the Qloud

My last few blog posts have discussed modeling inefficiencies when building your models. In this blog, I wanted to share some thoughts about how the practices I’ve previously written about can continue throughout your models once they’ve been built.

Firstly, we all know that frequently, the people who build models aren’t always the ones who need to use the data for analytics or wider decision making. A next-generation modeling solution should help people in different business groups understand your models and data, meaning they can make informed business decisions. Being able to create interactive presentation views to easily show findings really improves model worth and the ability to add real value to a business on a wider scale. It also improves efficiency, meaning there’s no time wasted trying to interpret findings. A hugely valuable feature of Quantrix means that users can create ‘what if’ analyses on models due to the interactive nature of presentation views without changing formulas.

Once you’ve created your model, another common challenge is keeping the same model up to date, eliminating having multiple versions of the same model and making sure it remains error free once it’s been returned. I think we are all guilty of having multiple versions of the same document – and sometimes losing track of which one is actually the most up to date version with naming conventions such as “Model 1” “Model 1 Final” “Model 1 Final 2” etc. Being able to share models easily and securely should definitely be a top priority for a modeling solution. In Quantrix, our Qloud-based system allows secure and simple sharing capabilities to ensure model validity is maintained, even when shared. You can set both user roles and permissions, meaning users only see the part of the model that’s relevant to them, as well as setting editing permissions right down to a single cell. It’s therefore impossible for someone to ‘fat-finger’ a formula and introduce errors to your model. Checking models over and over again once you’ve shared them really isn’t very efficient.

Lastly, the ability to work together in the same model is hugely valuable. Even being able to see when someone else is working on a model and having your editing capabilities paused means that everyone is always working on the latest version of the model. Taking it one step further, being able to have multiple users editing at the same time, whilst being able to chat within a model and see each user’s location means you no longer need to send models back and forth, eliminating errors creeping in and enhancing user collaboration.

Unfortunately, with traditional spreadsheets, the challenges don’t just stop once you’ve finally built your model. Instead, they carry large amounts of risk when trying to share and collaborate. These are just a few of many reasons why so many a now looking for a next-generation full modeling solution. Our Qloud solution is really simple, so simple in fact that we don’t even offer training on it! If you want to find out more about how Quantrix can help you share, collaborate and improve model value across business – please feel free to reach out.

By Holly Perry