Reporting & Business Intelligence
It is essential to provide reporting and BI capabilities that match the needs and technology preferences of the many types of users in your organisation.
Coda Financials provides both the vital robust, flexible information model and a full array of reporting and business intelligence (BI) tools to help all your different users report on, model and analyse your business – in the ways that they need.
The browse tool provides powerful reporting and data mining capabilities, including our world-famous, real-time drill down. Because of the single financial model, users can browse from high-level balances down to original source documents without passing through nonsensical summary entries and without missing any transactions due to batch integrations, module updates or balance roll-up routines. For instance, cash balances instantly reflect activity as cheques are cut in A/P and cash is received in A/R.
With Coda Financials, you always know your cash position – up to the minute and down to the penny.
Within the Browse functions of Coda Financials, ‘Selector’ tools give complete central control over:
- which data is used
- how it is stored
- who has access to which areas.
But the Selector is not just limited to Browse. It can be reused in other reporting tools including Microsoft® Excel® via Coda XL. This provides a one-to-many point of maintenance for all reports using a particular Selector. The Selector simplifies report maintenance and ensures a single version of the truth. This, coupled with the flexibility of the Coda Financials ‘Presenter’ tools, enables individual users to generate customised views of highly summarised data or to drill down to source documents, attachments and images.
With Coda Financials, you can create a “finance portal” that delivers a sensible balance of central control and individual choice, which improves the way a user accesses and interacts with key information. The portal also enables users to decide what programs, functions and other information they can have constantly available on their desktop. This can range from selecting and customising the Coda Financials product functions that they use, to choosing exactly which types of content – such as: key performance indicators (KPIs), reporting functions, tools, web pages and other useful information – to keep at their fingertips. So, the portal for a CFO can display content quite different to that of a line manager or accounting clerk.
When you want answers to more straightforward “What is…?” questions or a quick way to gather together basic transaction data, then you’re probably tempted to reach for spreadsheets – despite their limitations. Now there’s a better alternative – Coda XL!
Coda XL is a user-friendly tool that combines the power and control of Coda with the familiarity and convenience of Microsoft® Excel® – enabling you to output, work with, display, share and even input your data, more easily and more reliably. It gives you reporting that harnesses the advantages of spreadsheets but overcomes their usual weaknesses and complexities. It feeds your reports with real-time data and makes them far easier to maintain and share.
XL is one of a group of complementary applications that help Coda customers make the most of Microsoft® Excel® skills that many already have in place – offering significant time and money savings for the whole organisation.
Coda XL provides:
- Reporting on a single, secure and current version of the truth.
Because XL applies the security and validation settings of your Coda Financials application, you only need to create one version of the reports for instant online distribution – safe in the knowledge that each recipient will only be able to see the data for which they already have permission. It also means that you can refresh an entire report pack with the latest figures from the books – at a single click – and easily drill down into further detail.
- Straightforward administration and security with useful “Toolkit” components.
Additional administrative flexibility and control provide security settings to define which functions each user is allowed to access.
- Enhanced scheduling and distribution with XL Professional.
The XL report scheduler and distributor module allows you to schedule Microsoft® Excel® and XL reports with the option to specify the destination and file type. Reports can be output to a SharePoint® site, where alerts can be configured, or to a task in our process control and automation tools.
- Easy data entry from within Excel®, eliminating the need to rekey or cut & paste.
With the simple point-and-click/drag-and-drop tools, you can quickly create re-useable templates that will post transactions straight to the books from your existing spreadsheets, with full Coda security and without needing any programming or IT support! Using XL is also an excellent way to securely upload budget and forecast revisions.
There are times when simply viewing or outputting data does not shed enough light on the true state of affairs. Coda can help you move on from what the situation is, to understanding the underlying trends and reasons why.
Our business intelligence (BI) applications capitalise on the latest Microsoft® technologies to offer powerful solutions that can be tailored and deployed to suit the scale and complexity of your organisation’s BI or Corporate Performance Management (CPM) needs.
- Bringing together a broader range of business data for analysis
Our Intelligence solution provides a sophisticated analytic framework and database optimised for in-depth, high-volume, offline analysis of financial and other key business data from across the organisation. It takes the risk, complexity and delays out of getting an effective datamart solution in place and in action.
- Flexible, straightforward multi-dimensional analysis
Analytic Explorer is a user-friendly but powerful analysis tool that lets you extract key data directly from Financials or from your offline datamart (for example our Intelligence solution) and to analyse and model the figures. It enables users to quickly build multi-dimensional analysis “cubes” of data relevant to their business area and then view and manipulate the results via Microsoft® Excel®.
Intelligence is our own analytic application which can be used to extract, transform and load data into a separate datamart that has been optimised for financial reporting and analysis. Intelligence holds your financial data in a format that suits high-performance reporting. There are a large number of parameters which allow you to configure the operation of the datamart. You specify which summaries you want to calculate and hold, and define your own KPIs. We provide the underlying mapping from the Coda financial model into the datamart. This significantly reduces the cost and time to implement a datamart in your organisation.
At the heart of the solution is a sophisticated multidimensional database – specifically designed for gathering data from any number of source systems and delivering it for analysis, in the form that best addresses each user’s particular needs. This allows you to combine financial data with information from other systems in your enterprise into a single information repository.
To generate reports with Intelligence, you use a standard reporting tool on the tables in the datamart. We provide sample reports for use with business intelligence products from Cognos®, Business Objects® or Crystal Reports®. Indeed, you can use any ODBC-compliant reporting tool to access the data stored in the datamart.
Analytic Explorer enables managers and other information users to quickly build multi-dimensional analysis “cubes” of data relevant to their business area and then view and work with the results via Microsoft® Excel®. The source from which the data is drawn depends upon the level of solution appropriate for your particular organisation:
It enables users to take data:
- directly from Coda Financials for online analytic browsing – ideal if your reporting and analysis requirements are lower volume and reasonably straightforward. This provides an excellent starting point for improved performance management and a taste of the benefits you could achieve by capitalising on the data in your key business systems.
- from the Intelligence datamart, our sophisticated analytic framework and database, optimised for in-depth, high-volume, offline analysis of financial and other key business data from across the organisation. The datamart approach is ideal for organisations that have more complex, high-volume requirements and where data from multiple business systems is required.
The benefits of Analytic Explorer include:
- Flexibility – providing additional tools that reduce the dependency on basic reporting for information about the business.
- Accuracy – retaining the user-friendliness of Microsoft® Excel® to display analysis, while avoiding the potential errors and inconsistencies of spreadsheet data sources.
- Visibility – enabling users to ask and answer more sophisticated questions about the operation.
- Speed – delivering powerful data analysis through straightforward wizards that build cubes in just a few quick, clear steps.
- Simplicity – unlocking the power of analytical processing (OLAP) without users needing to have or call upon specialised programming skills.
- Familiarity – highly useable tools that are easy for non-specialists to understand and apply, thanks to familiar Microsoft® environments and conventions.
- Accessibility – tools are integrated into XL; cubes are server based and templates for viewing them can be shared between users.
- Scalability – building on Microsoft® tools that are highly scalable, as well as easy to support and upgrade.
- Cost-effectiveness – capitalising on the power and additional opportunities already provided by Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 (and its accompanying tools for reporting and analysis) to maximise the return on your IT investment.