If you're on this page, then you've heard about Datarails.
They're an Excel-based FP&A solution that focuses on automating financial planning, reporting, analysis, and data gathering.
Committing to an FP&A solution is a big decision. You want to make sure you pick the right one for you.
We'll share pros and cons, along with other options to help you figure it out. That's exactly what we're going to help you figure out. Keep reading.
- What does Datarails do?
- Datarails review
- Datarails competitors & alternatives
- More Datarails reviews
- Conclusion: Is Datarails good?
What does Datarails do?
Datarails promises to "transform your Excel into a lean, mean FP&A machine." Their biggest selling point is that they help you automate repetitive processes in Excel.
On their website, Datarails lists key use cases like:
- Budgeting, forecasting, and planning
- Financial reporting
- Financial analytics
- Financial close
- Scenario modeling
They also promise to help you "spend more time analyzing data and less time collecting it."
And all of that's great.
But how do they deliver on their promise? Let's take a look at some reviews.
Datarails does several things well. They pull your data into a single place. They make it easy for you to visualize your data in a dashboard. They're hard at work on building better predictive analytics functions.
Several FP&A pros indicated that Datarails:
- Helps them avoid mistakes
- Speeds up their close process
- Keeps them in Excel instead of on a legacy "replace spreadsheets" system
However, Datarails does have its limitations. In 2022, reviewers also mentioned that:
- Datarails isn't always reliable for sophisticated Excel computations
- Refreshing data can take a long time to process data that users don't know when the data is done updating
- Formulas are so complex that teams just end up using Excel defaults
Who is Datarails for?
A TechCrunch article detailing their Series B raise says that "DataRails will continue to focus squarely on SMBs."
So if you're a larger company (or if you're trying to grow or scale into a larger company), Datarails may not be the right solution for you.
Likewise, as a larger or growing company, you're more likely to have internal stakeholders who prefer to use Google Sheets or the web, so buying a solution with a solely Excel focus could create anti-synergy between the office of the CFO and the rest of the company. Not ideal, especially when it comes to budgeting season.
So we can confidently say that Datarails is best for Excel-based SMBs who don't plan to scale.
If that's you, then you should inquire more about Datarails. They might be the fit you're looking for. If this is not you, then scroll down for some additional options.
- Dashboard easy to set-up
- Flexible usages
- Keeps your FP&A team on Excel
- Old-school Excel experts will love the mix of formulas and coding with the modern UI
- Restricted to Excel and the Microsoft ecosystem—no native Google Sheets or Mac OS X integration
- Formulas needed in reports to pull back data
- Reporting not always intuitive
- Formulas in reports can be complex
- Making adjustments isn’t always user friendly
- Doesn’t integrate with older versions of Excel
- Reported glitches in templates
- Not always reliable during sophisticated Excel calculations
- Long refresh times
- Need additional licenses for each user who wants to see a templates
- Pivoted into an FP&A tool
Datarails doesn’t provide pricing on their website.
Datarails Competitors & Alternatives
While Datarails can be a good option for Excel-based SMBs who don't plan to scale, you should know about the other players in the FP&A industry.
And yes, we’ve started with Cube. We’re proud of how well it helps FP&A teams at companies of all sizes plan, analyze, and collaborate so they can scale their companies in a smart, sustainable, and speedy way.
Cube is the first spreadsheet-native FP&A platform that enables you to plan for the unexpected and stay ahead of changes. Its cloud-based FP&A software platform helps finance teams work anywhere—integrating natively with both Excel and Google Sheets—so that they can plan, analyze, and collaborate with the ultimate speed and confidence.
Because here's the thing:
Cube can do almost everything Datarails does, and then some. For example, Cube:
- Has a true, native Excel integration with all versions of Excel (no coding or formulas needed)
- Is always reliable during sophisticated Excel calculations
- Onboards new accounts 5x faster than the competition
- Uses simple formulas for creating reports
- Integrates with almost all source systems
- Works perfectly on Mac OS X and Google Sheets
Perhaps even more importantly, Cube was founded by a former CFO. The problems and use cases of FP&A have been baked into Cube since its inception.
FP&A teams already know and love spreadsheets and Cube simplifies many of the headaches of the often challenging planning process—like collecting actuals from other departments or checking and verifying that your numbers are correct—and lets teams turn their complicated budgeting process into a lean operation.
Sounds like a fit? Book your demo with Cube today. Keep scrolling to learn more.
- Automated data consolidation: Connect data from numerous sources for automated rollups and drilldowns.
- Multi-scenario analysis: Allows you to model how changes to key assumptions affect overall outputs seamlessly.
- Endless integrations: Integrations for spreadsheets (Google and Excel), accounting & finance, HR, ATS, billing & operations, sales & marketing, and business intelligence.
- Customizable dashboards: Gives you full ability to build and share customizable dashboards.
- Native Excel and Google Sheets integration: Compatible and bi-directional with any spreadsheet
- Multi-currency support: Evaluate your financials in both your local and reporting currencies.
- User-based controls: User controls, validations, and an audit trail ensure that the right data goes to the right people at the right time.
- Centralized formulas and KPIs: Store all your calculations in a central location and manage from a single source of truth.
- Drilldown and audit trail: Get straight to the transactions and history behind a single cell of data in just one click.
- Powerful reporting and KPIs help automate and analyze important data.
- Streamline manual data, reduce errors, and improve collaboration so you can make smarter business decisions in a fraction of the time.
- You can easily collaborate with industry-leading FP&A experts and an award-winning support team.
- Integrations with dozens of applications.
- True, native Excel integration with all versions of Excel (no coding or formulas needed)
- Always reliable during sophisticated Excel calculations
- Standard implementation time that's 5x shorter than the competition
- Quick fresh and fetch times
- Intuitive, easy, and customizable reporting
- Simple formulas for making reports
- User-friendly user interface and controls
- Easy permission management
- Integrates with more source systems
- Has full Mac OS X compatibility
- Is an always-correct single source of truth
- Built and designed by a former serial CFO
- Cube works best for mid-sized and commercial businesses–it’s not a personal finance app.
- Cube is built for finance professionals and is not a solution for learning FP&A for the first time
- Pricing (below) is not designed for pre-series A startups
- Starting at $1,250/month for lean finance teams and $2,450/month for companies looking to scale. See detailed pricing.
Best for: Mid-size and enterprise FP&A teams looking to save time and grow. Cube also works for hypergrowth SMBs who want a solution that will scale with their organization's complexity.
Curious to see if Cube is a fit for your organization? Book your demo now.
Built for enterprises, Vena is a financial planning and analysis solution that allows companies to create a centralized solution with automated workflows that are reliable for data analysis and decision making.
Vena supports companies’ financial systems by lessening the workload for manual labor and optimizing overall operational performance. With specific tasks assigned to each team member, automated processes help reduce bottlenecks and increase efficiency.
With the shift towards automation becoming more and more of a necessity for enterprises and organizations, Vena transitions your outdated company spreadsheets into detailed analyses that provide you with more data for strategic planning. With features like visual control, graphical data modeling, project budgeting/forecasting, and more, Vena helps you adapt to modern finances.
- What-if modeling, statistical analysis
- Graphical data presentation, modeling, simulation
- Performance metrics, sales trend analysis
- Capital asset planning and cash management
- Run rate tracking
- Version control
- Data-driven strategic planning
- Visual data storytelling
- Future mobile support
- Training support
- Reported glitches during set-up and installation
- Relatively high learning curve for users
- Error messages are not specific enough for new users
- Lacks some key features
- Can be expensive for smaller or mid-sized companies
- Vena does not provide pricing details on their website.
3. Mosaic Tech
Founded in 2019, Mosaic is a strategic finance platform that creates real-time reporting, with budgeting and planning for better business decision-making. Mosaic allows companies to work in unison in pursuit of organizational goals.
In essence, Mosaic is able to consolidate insights gathered from financial data and transforms them into accessible visuals for stakeholders and management. Similar to other FP&A platforms, Mosaic automates different financial operations to streamline the overall workflow. Features like real-time analytics and cross-functional collaborations provide teams to better the growth alignment of entire teams with accurate data.
Mosaic's biggest strength is its ability to provide pretty visuals that SaaS companies often want.
- "What if" scenarios
- Access controls/permissions
- Ad hoc query and reporting
- Cash management
- Correlation analysis
- Dashboard creation
- Easy to use
- Intuitive UI
- Slow rollout of new features
- No customization of graphs and charts
- Not made for non-SaaS companies
- Lacks integration features
- Difficult to scale with the complexity of your organization
- Mosaic Tech does not provide pricing details on their website.
More Datarails Reviews
For more information on Datarails, check out these other Datarails reviews:
- G2 Datarails Reviews
- Software Advice Datarails Reviews
- Gartner Datarails Reviews
- Capterra Datarails Reviews
Conclusion: Is Datarails good?
While Datarails is generally a good option for your FP&A needs, it still has its own shortcomings regarding the complexity and intuitiveness for the average user.
Ultimately, Datarails works best for this kind of user:
- Excel-only shop
- Small (or solo) FP&A team
- ERP and other source systems natively integrate with Datarails
However, if you’re in the FP&A market and you’re looking for something that:
- Scales easily,
- Integrates with everything,
- Is super simple to implement,
- Is powerful enough to simplify your workflows but simple enough for anybody to learn, and
- Works for companies of all sizes,
then Cube might be a good fit for you. Request a demo and let's talk.