Software evaluation

Datarails competitors: The complete list for 2024

Updated: December 17, 2023 |

By

Jim Bullis
Jim Bullis

Jim Bullis has over 13 years of experience implementing CPM/EPM tools and other finance software, as well as consulting and supporting a wide range of clients from Fortune 500 organizations, to privately held corporations generating over $100M in revenue, to public sector entities.

Datarails competitors: The complete list for 2024

Financial planning and analysis (FP&A) software is designed to help organizations manage budgets, forecast revenue and expenses, and build forecasting models for better decision-making. 

Software providers have found many ways to differentiate themselves in the market with strong integrations, time-saving automation, cloud-based platforms, and solutions that work with the spreadsheets finance folks know and love. Datarails is one such provider, offering the SMB market an option for using advanced FP&A while working in Excel.

But it’s not the only choice. Many Datarails competitors offer similar base functionality with attractive features for growth-minded finance teams. Let’s take a closer look at this solution and explore some Datarails alternatives to consider.

Jim Bullis

Jim Bullis

Head of Pre-Sales & Solutions, Cube Software

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Why FP&A software is crucial for modern finance leaders

Manual planning means data must be re-entered, updated, and formatted repeatedly. It’s time-consuming and error-prone, not to mention hard to scale. Both Datarails and competing platforms offer an automated solution that eliminates manual processes and human error. 

FP&A software helps companies increase efficiency and accuracy for increasingly complex planning. It lets teams plan better, budget more realistically, and make data-driven decisions faster. It also helps teams share information quickly and easily across departments, even in remote settings. 

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Key features to look for in FP&A software

Software is the key to the successful automation of FP&A. Options like Datarails and its competitors all offer a core set of functionality and services that make the process easier. 

When researching FP&A software for your company, be sure your chosen tool offers these five features:

Data integration and automation capabilities

Strong data integration and automation features are table stakes for FP&A. They enable you to pull data from different sources: Excel spreadsheets, marketing systems, HR and payroll data, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and other data centers to create a single source of truth. 

Automation eliminates manual work and ensures accuracy with automatic data input and real-time updates. This helps organizations increase visibility and use every available resource to create models and consider scenarios. 

Forecasting, budgeting, and scenario planning tools

The planning capabilities of FP&A software enable you to forecast financial performance, create budgets, and explore options for meeting objectives. These features let you model data scenarios, understand the impact of actions, and make informed decisions.

Strong forecasting lets teams understand changes in the market as they happen, allowing them to pivot tactics and keep operations spending in check. Budgeting features help every department see performance as it happens to avoid budget overruns common in manual tracking software.

Collaboration and workflow management

Finance teams are growing and changing. The modern, remote team needs seamless communication options to keep everyone in the loop and deliver timely results. Workflows make the process even easier, breaking down the data silos and approval log-jams that keep otherwise high-performing teams from achieving efficiency. 

Reporting and dashboard functionalities

As finance teams grow in partnership with other departments and the executive team, they need more customized reporting and dashboards. FP&A software streamlines the process of compiling and delivering data based on the project and the audience. It helps finance communicate its plans effectively and gain buy-in from key stakeholders.  

Scalability and adaptability to various business needs

As organizations grow, their needs evolve and deepen. The manual process that works for a company of five or 10 won’t keep up as headcount and complexity increase. Software reduces the busy work of managing FP&A so teams focus on the high-value work only they can produce. It also scales with the organization as it grows and changes, offering customizations and support well-matched to individual business models and needs.

Datarails: a quick overview

Datarails is an option for smaller companies looking to evolve from manual processes and scale with automation and advanced reporting capabilities. 

What key features does Datarails offer in its platform?

  • Forecasting: Forecasts let finance partners cast the headlights a little further down the road, so strong forecasting functions are a must in any software solution. Datarails offers a comprehensive forecasting dashboard to help finance teams get a handle on potential future costs.
  • Data analysis: Many of the data insights available within an organization are accessible only with the right analytics tools. The data analysis features of Datarails make it easier for users to identify trends, track metrics, and explore the effect of outside economic impacts on business operations.
  • Reporting tools: End-of-month reporting is a central function of FP&A. Without software, the month-end process can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Datarails offers month-end financial reporting features that make it easier to compile, verify, and distribute financials on schedule.
  • Visualizations: Sharing the finance vision is easier when the team can communicate data and insights with succinct visuals and graphs. This is especially useful when discussing future plans with a non-finance audience. Datarails offers strong visualization features to share the narrative and make complex data easier to understand. 
  • Integrations: Since finance doesn’t operate in a vacuum, a finance solution shouldn’t operate in isolation. Datarails readily integrates with other essential components of the tech stack to share and integrate information.

What makes Datarails unique?

Like Cube, Datarails allows users to perform FP&A activities within the familiar surroundings of Microsoft Excel. It offers an easy-to-use interface and templates to make reporting and modeling simpler. It’s geared toward smaller companies, letting them take advantage of advanced techniques without making finance give up their spreadsheets.

Top Datarails alternatives to consider

There are a few Datarails competitors serving the SMB and mid-market space, as well as those whose functionality exceeds the needs of these segments.

Here are the top nine Datarails competitors to explore when researching solutions:

1. Cube

blue-cube-logo

Cube is the first cloud-based FP&A platform that’s Excel-native. Its flexible and powerful modeling and analysis features make it an ideal choice for companies ready to expand their financial planning and reporting capabilities with a platform built to scale alongside high-growth organizations. It goes beyond plug-ins to offer full, native functionality in both Excel and Google Sheets spreadsheet environments so teams can embrace stronger analytics within the environment they already know and trust.

Key features and services

  • Seamless, bi-directional integration with all versions of Excel and Google Sheets, and direct integration with most other finance and BI systems.
  • Extensive dashboard creation and customization features.
  • Finance-first platform design created by a former CFO to power SMBs, mid-market companies, and enterprise organizations.

How does Cube compare to Datarails?

As one of Datarails' competitors in the SMB and mid-market, Cube offers strong Excel functionality. It’s worth noting that Datarails lags in version-agnostic support. It does not support Excel versions prior to 2007.

Cube is also stronger in alternative spreadsheet environments such as Google Sheets and offers full support for both Windows and Mac-based users. Onboarding for Cube is up to five times faster than implementation for Datarails and offers an easy-to-use UI that is great for casual and power users.

Where many Datarails users will eventually outgrow the platform's functionality, Cube’s versatility ensures continuity as organizations evolve from SMB to mid-market and into enterprise status, making it one of the top alternatives to others in this segment. Cube also offers competitive, transparent pricing with tiers that provide excellent entry-point value with room to grow. 

2. Vena

Vena-logo

Vena offers cloud-based business intelligence (BI) and analytics for automation of financial forecasting and modeling. It offers many out-of-the-box features, such as reporting templates and integrations for businesses of all sizes. Vena focuses on the automation of tedious or repetitive finance processes and integrates well with the most popular ERP, customer relationship management (CRM), and BI platforms.

Key features and services

  • Full Excel integration for formulas, scenario modeling, and templates.
  • Strong user permissions for customized access controls.
  • Platform APIs to integrate any system into Vena for data communication.

How does Vena compare to Datarails?

Datarails offers a secure and accessible entry into FP&A software. While Vena has the functionality to support SMBs, implementation requires a consultant to build and maintain financial models. This means implementation is often more expensive than out-of-box solutions.

For companies focused on growth, Vena offers more scalability with features that support the evolution into enterprise status. This might be a differentiator in Vena’s favor for mid-market companies. While both Vena and Datarails offer comprehensive support for Excel, neither supports Google Sheets, and they both offer limited support for Mac.

3. Anaplan

Anaplan-logo

Anaplan is a big name in the FP&A space, offering enterprise organizations all the horsepower required to power complex financial calculations and manage their planning requirements.

Key features and services

  • Hyperblock calculation engine that allows users to model multiple scenarios. 
  • Multi-device support for planning on desktops, the web, or modern Apple and Android devices.
  • Driver-based forecasting features that leverage machine learning (ML) and algorithms for advanced forecasts.

How does Anaplan compare to Datarails?

Datarails helps small to medium-sized businesses step into automation and improved analysis, while Anaplan serves large and enterprise-sized businesses—those with full-stack maturity and IT support in place.

Anaplan offers the complexity these organizations require to stay competitive, but its functionality and pricing are beyond what most SMBs need or want. Anaplan has a reputation for long implementation timelines and a lack of a user-friendly interface.

4. Prophix

Prophix-logo

Prophix is a cloud-based solution for finance automation and modeling. Its comprehensive features allow finance teams to gather, analyze, and use the insights within their financial data. Prophix focuses on streamlining processes like budgeting, financial close, consolidation, and inter-company management.

Key features and services

  • Well-oiled process automation capabilities and pre-built functions for companies migrating from manual FP&A for the first time.
  • Anomaly detection features to spot issues and reduce security risks or fraud.
  • Financial reporting tools for easy cash flow, balance sheet, and income reporting.

How does Prophix compare to Datarails?

Prophix is one of Datarails’ competitors geared toward the mid-market and teams that are familiar with data analysis and/or process automation. For users familiar with Excel, Datarails may offer smoother implementation and adoption with its Excel-first design.

Prophix is not Excel-native or integrated, but the product offers an interface modeled on the spreadsheet experience, so savvy users may be able to learn the ropes. It’s also strong on security, appealing to companies in secure industries like banking, insurance, government, and healthcare.

5. OneStream

onestream-logo

OneStream is a cloud-based financial consolidation and reporting solution designed to give finance teams for enterprises comprehensive visibility into their financial data. It’s especially useful for complex finance reporting requirements and M&A-stage organizations, plus those companies looking to implement full digital transformation of the finance function. 

Key features and services

  • Direct integration with most mission-critical software systems and platforms.
  • Solution exchange marketplace to extend the usability of the platform.
  • Personnel and capital planning modules for comprehensive planning.

How does OneStream compare to Datarails?

Like Anaplan, OneStream is a secure, full-service tool meant for large-scale financial operations planning and is not considered one of Datarails direct competitors. It’s not intended for small to medium-sized businesses, those with simpler financial reporting requirements, or the casual FP&A user.

Implementation requires a consultant to set up secure data streams and build modeling functionality. For enterprises that need full capabilities, including multi-scenario reporting and financial statements without the need for full Excel integration, OneStream has a level of functionality not offered through Datarails.

6. Planful

Planful-logo

This performance management and FP&A tool gives users access to real-time data, advanced analytics, and planning resources to improve financial outcomes in larger companies. It offers a scalable solution to end time-consuming manual financial reporting and planning, with a focus on automation for reporting, templated reports, GL management, and driver-based forecasting.

Key features and services

  • Easy-to-learn BI tool with a low-code model that takes up fewer IT resources.
  • In-depth resource center to help new users develop skills and platform knowledge.
  • Machine learning features to harness the data insights in financial systems.

How does Planful compare to Datarails?

Like many solutions geared towards larger organizations, Planful requires assistance for implementation and setup. Planful lacks the spreadsheet integration capabilities of Datarails and competitors but integrates readily with other tools through a RESTful API for data exchange and customization. Planful might be the best solution for companies outgrowing their current mid-market tool or who want to add more features and sophistication to financial forecasting practices. 

7. Workday Adaptive Planning

Adaptive-logo

Workday’s enterprise performance management (EPM) tool offers a range of features for advanced financial analysis and forecasting, workflow automation, performance tracking, and driver-based modeling. The platform allows teams to step outside of the core finance planning functions to plan workforce, resource allocation, and manage sales teams as well. 

Key features and services

  • Hypercube technology for multi-scenario planning features a speedy in-memory engine.
  • Security support and encryption for clients in high-sensitivity industries.
  • Machine learning and variance detection features for maximum agility.

How does Workday Adaptive Planning compare to Datarails?

Adaptive Planning and the rest of the Workday suite are geared toward enterprise companies with complex finance and secure EPM needs. For this reason, it’s not always the best choice for SMBs. It doesn’t offer Excel or Google Sheets functionality comparable to Datarails, but has direct integrations with many other cloud-based and on-premise tools.

The onboarding process for Workday is extensive, so it’s best for large companies with fully mature finance functions and strong IT support.

8. IBM Planning Analytics

IBM-logo

This BI and EPM platform provides medium to large enterprises with a full suite of tools to perform multi-scenario forecasting and other advanced financial analysis. It’s ideal for companies that use other IBM planning components and those that need custom-built solutions through an API. It offers strong predictive capabilities and collaboration to meet the needs of large finance teams. 

Key features and services

  • TM1 technology for native integration with Excel, deployable in any environment.
  • Built-in collaboration platform for cross-departmental planning and ideation.
  • Planning tools beyond finance—supply chain, workforce, sales, and IT.

How does IBM Planning Analytics compare to Datarails?

The features and functionality of this platform surpass those of Datarails and its core business demographic, designed to meet the needs of large and complex organizations. However, Datarails offers a more approachable entry point to this platform type.

The IBM system can be hard to learn, even for advanced users coming from alternatives. For medium-sized businesses that need the full spectrum of advanced operational planning systems, IBM may be the best choice, but it will exceed the needs of most SMBs.

9. Mosaic

Mosaic-logo

Mosaic is a more recent entry to the FP&A space and is considered one of Datarails competitors for small and medium businesses. It offers customizable dashboards and collaboration features that help growing teams develop better financial roadmaps and step into stronger process automation and analytics practices. Its platform is built to serve the needs of SMB users with a good balance of functionality and accessibility. 

Key features and services

  • Strong pre-built integrations and connections with popular planning, billing, and data warehousing tools.
  • Many out-of-box features for performance measurement and template-based reporting.
  • Advanced modeling and unlimited scenario planning.

How does Mosaic compare to Datarails?

Both Datarails and Mosaic are built for the mid-market, with comparable tools and features for SMB finance teams. While reviewers prefer Datarails regarding general platform usability and experience, users find Mosaic easier for initial implementation and customer support. Mosaic also rates higher in terms of feature enhancements and overall platform roadmap.

Conclusion: assessing top Datarails alternatives

With Datarails competitors offering similar functionality alongside alternatives with advanced features and price points, it’s important to focus on selecting the best platform for your company’s size, stage, and industry. The best match is a solution that offers features for today and plenty of headroom to continue meeting organizational needs as the business grows.

If your company is ready to step out of manual processes with a secure, long-term FP&A solution, request a free demo to see how Cube can help ensure day-one performance and long-term reliability.

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