Vena provides flexibility to set up budgets, reports and other processes as flexibly as we need.
We were able to streamline and centrally collect data for our budgeting process, which save considerable time for the budget administrator and other admin assistants across our university. We created Board-level reporting templates that can be re-used every year to report the results of the budget process with only changes made as necessary for the format of the current reporting year. We collect forecasting information from over 330 departments and compile all the information within one template to estimate the financial outcome for the fiscal year. We have been able to include data in planning of various kinds in ways that we weren't able to by just using Excel, resulting in better planning results. We can create new planning or reporting processes and have the flexibility to save additional data input that isn't part of our ERP data. Overall, we have saved time, improved processes, created one version of the data visible to all involved in the process and created efficiencies by being able to share data across processes.
Flexibility to set up whatever process we are working on the way it needs to be set up for our business requirements. Continual improvements being done on the Vena add-in and browser administration interface. Formatting Excel templates and reports exactly as needed. Ability to pull in data from all data versions for any reporting or template. Ability to save non-financial data to use in reporting or calculations. Ability to control user input as needed to better quality data. Prompt customer service responses. Great implementation team. Administrative control over data visible to individual users. Workflows to show status for process steps and email notifications when a workflow step is ready for input or review. Once learned, allows for creation of new processes to collect or report data.
Having to download each Excel file, but once downloaded, it's easy to select the data we want to see.
Excel based Performance Management Tool
Our Financial Planning and Analysis team picked Vena from many other tools. The reason for zeroing on this tool, is, it is an excel based tool. We have been doing all this work in excel since years.
We have standardized the process and have fixed excel templates. However excel has certain limitations like version control, access control, audit trail etc.
With Vena we overcame the limitations of excel while retaining the power, flexibility and ease of use of excel. We have many desperate IT systems some by choice and some by compulsion due to various acquisitions. We import the data from all these systems into vena database. Data is automatically consolidated and aggregated per our requirements for use in advanced management reports as well as ad hoc reports in vena. Vena offers workflow and approval management by project, department etc. Further one can drill up, drill down, slice and dice the data using vena. Variance analysis is a piece of cake in this tool. Vena customer service is good too.
There is a learning curve like any other tool. There is no drag and drop from a selection of columns, fields etc. However once you learn the tool, reporting becomes easier.
Add super powers to your Excel templates
I don't have to learn SQL programming languages or wait around for my computer department to do something . I can manage everything myself.
Being a young company, they need more demonstrations, downloaded working files to build users skills.
Powerful, User Friendly Budgeting, Reporting, and Analysis Tool
Improved budgeting and ad hoc reporting
The Excel interface is my favorite part about Vena. Everyone within our business is familiar with and comfortable using Excel. Therefore, when we started using Vena for budgets, our contributors did not have to learn a completely new interface. However, Vena offers so much more than just Excel. I love how Vena shows you who made changes to the file and what the previous values in the file were. It helps hold people accountable. It is also very easy to make powerful reports using Vena.
We built a very complicated template which took a long time to open. However, Vena was very helpful in helping us optimize our template and improve the performance drastically.
VENA SOLUTIONS IS AWESOME!
I particularly like how easily Vena integrates with my existing software programs (Microsoft Excel based), and the support provided to our business has been second to none!
There were a few glitches during set-up and installation and there is a bit of a learning curve as we customized the program to fit our particular requirements, however customer support made life as easy as possible.
The ease of use is a big plus for me, but the consistent rollout of buggy updates is frustrating
Powerful tool for budgeting and forecasting
Adaptability with Excel while still being able to use all Excel native functionality. Easy to input variables and run data rich spreadsheets
Setup time on individual templates can be cumbersome. Error messages are not very specific so you spend lots of time contacting the Help Desk.
Review of VENA reporting and budgeting capabilities
VENA leadership very supportive of our implementation. Reacted quickly to our concerns
Ease of design and compatibility with Excel. Flexibility in implementation allowed us to try multiple iterations and change items like budget template design mid project.
Some start up bugs - Excel add in had to be added in a few times. Some users experienced unexplained data losses. Compatibility with MACs an issue