Host Analytics: Leveraging Cloud Technology and Accelerating Financial Processes

Dave Kellogg, CEO
The finance departments of several firms are still hesitant about adopting new technology when compared to their peers—sales or marketing departments. Beyond that, there are a lot of companies still limping along with outdated on-premises financial applications that were not built to support key processes like budgeting, planning, or consolidation for the era of Big Data. Host Analytics, a company based in Redwood City, CA, lets finance professionals streamline their processes without facing the complexity of on-premises software, and integrates Big Data with clicks instead of implementing customized or long-running, expensive consulting projects.

As young companies are innovating solutions more around Big Data, they are leveraging the services of cloud technology and Host Analytics accelerates some of their key financial processes via a SaaS platform. Lance Walter, CMO at Host Analytics says, “Our DNA at Host Analytics is finance and accounting. We natively understand things like accounting, reporting, and compliance requirements needed in different industries or countries. So, we have built a very flexible and multi-tenant cloud platform that’s made ‘by finance for finance’.”

Host Analytics’ services have a flavour of performance management, or what the company calls Enterprise Performance Management or “EPM.” EPM is a suite of applications that automate budgeting and planning, financial closing and consolidation, and reporting and analytics so that their users have a common view of key business metrics and the ability to understand what’s driving their business, and how they can improve their business performance.

Companies often choose to work with Host Analytics when they realize that finance needs to move quickly and stay agile even when the IT department is overburdened. The firm provides a secure, automated, cloud-based experience that Excel users are immediately
familiar with, and that is very easy for customers to adopt. It has also found that many finance professionals who have struggled with traditional complex, expensive EPM application rollouts often end up going back to the traditional tools like Excel because they don’t want to learn new scripting or calculation languages just to do something basic like calculate a variance.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals, a specialty biopharmaceutical company and a client of Host Analytics, implemented the strategy of rapidly acquiring and merging with other companies to accelerate their growth. Part of a successful acquisition is integrating the acquired company’s financial results and business metrics, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals knew that if they wanted to move quickly and stay agile, they needed a cloud platform that could deploy quickly, and easily integrate disparate, financial information in support of their ongoing strategy of M&A. Jazz Pharmaceuticals sought the help of Host Analytics for its EPM solutions that improved the speed and accuracy of their most critical financial processes and helped them drive better decisions by improving R&D cost analysis, P&L reporting and consolidations.

“From a Big Data perspective, we think finance has a great opportunity to better lead and support businesses by incorporating millions of external pieces of data in real time,” explains Walter. On understanding this, the company innovated Decision Hub, a product that can draw real time exchange rates from a central source, provide access to different economic indicators like the consumer confidence index, and even scrape the hundreds of thousands of 10-K and 10-Q disclosures out there so that companies can benchmark themselves vs. peers.

Host Analytics has been disrupting the EPM market using the advantages of cloud and moving ahead, the company will continue to deliver industry firsts made possible by its flexible platform and rapid quarterly updates enabled by the Cloud.


Company
Host Analytics

Headquarters
Redwood City, CA

Management
Dave Kellogg, CEO

Description
Experts in cloud financial applications including planning, consolidation, reporting and analytics.