Carlson Thought Leadership in Finance & Technology

SeatGeek Uses Adaptive Insights to Accelerate the Budget Cycle and Grow

September 19, 2019 / by Lauren Strohmeier

CUsersa1015786OneDrive - Alight SolutionsDocumentsSeatGeek - Success StoryTeddy Collins, Director of Corporate Finance & Investor Relations at SeatGeek, shares how his team uses Adaptive Insights, with Carlson’s services and best practices guidance, to accelerate their budget cycle and create collaborative processes that help them grow.

Please provide a description of your organization and mission.

SeatGeek’s mission is to help the world experience more live entertainment. It enables a great customer experience through its leading mobile apps, interactive maps, exceptional customer service, and seamless product innovation.

SeatGeek also helps large organizations sell tickets and interact with fans through its enterprise product line. SeatGeek has grown substantially over time. When I joined in 2015, the team had 100 employees. Now, we are close to 500 people spread out across five countries.

Please provide a description of your role and responsibilities within your organization.

I work within the FP&A function. The members of our team wear a lot of hats.

We dedicated time early on standing up non-traditional FP&A areas like business and sales operations. We’re getting back into core FP&A responsibilities like forecasting, reporting, and business partnering.

Our focus now, and over the next couple years, will be to establish a best-in-class modern finance department. We plan to use systems and process excellence to keep our staff lean and free us up to focus on strategy.

Please describe the challenges that your organization faced which led you to seek out a new cloud-based CPM solution.

We wanted to build scalable processes at SeatGeek.

Within Excel, it’s a challenge sharing data with multiple people. For example, how do we use a spreadsheet to share ten different views with ten people without spending a lot of time copying, pasting, and emailing?

With Google Sheets, we were able to share data with people in a more scalable fashion. For the reconciliation process, however, Google Sheets is not scalable. Building out static reports, as well as mapping out the next quarter, is a process unto itself.

During our Adaptive Insights demo, we found it very attractive how we can version off the entire data model with only about five clicks versus a multi-day exercise in online spreadsheets.

What factors made you decide that Adaptive Insights was the right solution for your organization?

We wanted to make that ultimate jump to a collaborative approach to finance. Our goal was to find a best-in-class, enterprise-grade solution that sits on top of our existing infrastructure. Adaptive Insights is highly compatible with our other systems.

What also drew us to Adaptive Insights is its ability to integrate our data with ease. Through its automated capabilities, we can bring data into our system overnight. Specifically, we can unify our data from our ERP, CRM, HRIS, and data warehouse. This is essential for our master data management, making finance the owner of source-of-truth data.

Adaptive Insights has additional qualities that set it apart from other systems. It’s the most intuitive solution. It helps us fulfill all our modeling needs, while still allowing for new users to quickly get up-to-speed. Its training documentation makes the learning process self-serve.

Which systems are you using Adaptive Insights with? What are the key benefits?

We currently have an automated integration with our ERP system. Through this integration, we can bring GL account-based results into Adaptive Insights. Soon, we’ll also bring in our CRM, HR, and data warehouse reports into Adaptive Insights automatically, instead of uploading flat files. These data sets are related to our non-financial data like headcount, customers, and KPIs.

By using a cloud-based approach to business planning, we can connect our information from key areas of the organization. Adaptive Insights is best suited to unify that information.

With Adaptive Insights, what abilities do you now have that you didn’t prior to implementation?

With a purpose-built finance system like Adaptive Insights, we can easily report on our business, compare different plan versions, and perform advanced calculations.

Adaptive Insights also gives us a faster close process and ability to evaluate results and communicate their story to others within the organization. To quantify it, we’ve been able to reduce our cycle by three days every month.

We also have the ability to be more transparent with our business partners through robust means of sharing information. That collaboration helps us scale. We can provide reports that are easy for business partners to interact with and digest. They can also become more engaged with the process, making our forecasting and decision-making even better.

What are some of the other benefits you have experienced that may be less quantifiable?

In addition to the decrease in cycle time, we also complete the cycle with more trustworthy information. This gives us confidence in knowing our results will guide us in the right direction.

Adaptive Insights is a source of truth that provides a unified set of good, clean data. We can make decisions easier together and build an analysis-rich department.

Can you please describe the customer experience you enjoy at Carlson that makes the most difference for you? 

The Carlson consultants are experts who give us confidence throughout our project. The team that works with us – Josh Ladd, Amy Kee, and Laura Hayes – is top-notch. Because they have been using Adaptive Insights for a long time, they know everything about it and how it’s evolved. We really leaned on the Carlson team to provide the best practices guidance as we designed and developed our system.

Everything was covered efficiently. The Carlson team stayed on top of the project plan, delivered weekly updates, and always communicated how we can achieve our consultant-driven and SeatGeek-driven project deliverables.

Why do you recommend Carlson Management Consulting?

With Carlson, you know you’d be partnering with the leading experts in Adaptive Insights and finance best practices. They are also very interested and invested in the great implementation of your project.

Carlson has a deep bench where you can draw from its team’s expertise and feel confident about your decisions and business planning. Whether you want to integrate new data, resolve specific issues, and/or elevate your FP&A, you know that Carlson can help you achieve your goals.

Why do you recommend Adaptive Insights?

Adaptive Insights is a best-in-class cloud-based solution that does everything we need it to for business planning. It’s a very robust and flexible platform. Through its educational training, we can easily get up-to-speed. Adaptive Insights also has a strong partner network of dedicated consultants and customer support managers who are there to help you throughout your journey.

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