Adaptive Insights offers two discrete reporting platforms: the HTML option, which is included with each standard Adaptive Planning user license, and OfficeConnect, which is an Excel add-in and requires a separate license for each user. Each reporting option has its own strengths and weaknesses and ultimately the two platforms complement each other quite well.
HTML reporting is best for simple, dynamic reports (e.g., budget variance reports by cost center) and the creation of ad hoc reports. If Adaptive Planning is widely available to budget managers, reports do not have to be manually distributed by the FP&A team as users can access them at their convenience via web browser. End users also have the ability to drill down into the transactional details.
It can, however, be difficult to create more complicated reports in HTML without significant development of custom accounts. The reports do not download well to Excel, so it can be time-consuming to create and update monthly Financial Packages or Board Books using HTML reporting.
OfficeConnect, which works with the Adaptive Planning and Consolidation modules, is best for reports that will be refreshed regularly and distributed, like Financial Packages or Board Books. Using a drag-and-drop interface, OfficeConnect allows for more sophisticated reporting than HTML, as each cell can house a different data intersection. Reports created on multiple tabs in a single workbook can be refreshed with a single click, and dynamic time elements allow the workbook to be updated for a new month with a simple date change. All formatting options available in Excel can be used in Office Connect and formatting is retained upon refresh. OfficeConnect also interfaces with Word for Board Books and PowerPoint for management and Board presentations with the same single click update capability.
OfficeConnect reports can take longer to build than HTML reports and require manual refreshes and distribution to budget managers via email or shared folder. Parameters and a new repeating report function will make OfficeConnect reports more dynamic, but a user must have an OfficeConnect license, in addition to a standard Adaptive Planning or Consolidation license, in order to access these features.
Assuming end users have Adaptive access, HTML reports create efficiencies in the FP&A department by enabling “self-service” for budget managers and other information consumers. They can run their own preferred reports as soon as the data is available in Adaptive without assistance from the finance team.
OfficeConnect allows for Financial Packages and report books to be built once and refreshed in seconds, so FP&A can focus on analyzing the data rather than updating and reformatting it. Used together, the Adaptive reporting platforms can help FP&A reduce the time spent on data management and reporting so they can focus on more value-added activities.