financial analytics

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A guide to using Excel as financial accounting software

Financial analytics is the creation of ad hoc analysis to answer specific business questions and forecast possible future financial scenarios. Financial analysis software can speed up the creation of reports and present the data in an executive dashboard, a graphical presentation that is easier to read and interpret than a series of spreadsheets with pivot tables.

Popular financial analysis software programs include:

Oracle Financial Analytics - modular component of Oracle’s integr ated family of business intelligence (BI) software applications. Enables insight into the general ledger, provides visibility into performance against budget and the way staffing costs and employee or supplier performance affects revenue and customer satisfaction.

SAP ERP Financial Analytics - help organizations define financial goals, develop business plans and monitor costs and revenue during execution.

SAS Business Analytics - provides an integrated environment for data mining, text mining, simulation and predictive modeling -- a mathematical model that predicts future outcomes – as well as descriptive modeling, a mathematical model that describes historical events and the relationships that created them.

IBM Cognos Finance - provides out of the box data analysis capabilities for sales, supply chain procurement and workforce management functions.

NetSuite - provides financial dashboards, reporting and analytic functions that allow personal key performance indicators (KPIs) to be monitored in real time.

This was last updated in March 2012

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