data1.io – Forecasting and Data Collection
What is data1.io?
data1.io makes excel to a collaborative database. Use it for spreadsheet-based forecasting and smart data collection processes with 100s or 1000s of users.
It is a highly innovative SaaS solution to collect, aggregate and share MS Excel® data – not files – within teams inside and outside your company. data1.io is now available as alpha-release. You can test it and companies can acquire special early-bird-rights to use the data1.io technology for custom enterprise solutions for forecasting and data collection. Try it and contact us!
Which problem is solved with data1.io?
data1.io automatizes those processes, where companies typically (1) use standardized "Excel forms" (2) to collect data from at least 2 people inside or outside the organization, (3) aggregate the data with usually too much ressources, (4) share the results with the management and (5) repeat the process on a daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annual basis.
The following sub-steps/pains are automatized and solved:
- Manual Duplication of an Excel master file for every single receiver, filling them with reference data (e.g. actuals) and possibly reworking the files with last minute changes
- Manual Sending every single file via e-mail to the right receiver(s)
- Manual Recollection of the completed files at the closing date incl. „calling-in“ of delinqent collegues
- Manual Aggregation of the (finally valid) figures to reports
- Manual Repeating the process in the next loops (possibly with adaptions)
The following corporate „smart data“ collection processes are adressed:
- Rolling Sales-Forecast within the sales team (test the SALES showcase)
- Continuous tracking of costs and progress in project teams
- Collect financial/hr data from subsidiaries
- KPI target values for dashboards and scorecards from all teams
- Personell cost planning with an external tax advisor (test the HR showcase)
- Daily or weekly branch reports for non-ERP data
- Complementary collection of operation and quality metrics (CAQ) in production facilities („small data“)
- Annual Corporate Budgeting (all teams)
- Monthly collection of timesheet entries of external freelancers
- and many more …
By automatizing this collection process, data1.io adresses also excel-based processes, which (1) need to version data and compare them as scenarios and/or which (2) need to split large Excel files for several users and adding a security system.
Why using data1, what makes it unique?
data1.io reduces massively work and failures in forecasting and data collection processes by connecting existing Excel sheets with a very flexible data model in the cloud. It increases the involvement of more people in forecasting processes due to low marginal costs and it increases the frequency of forecasting processes due to a highly automatization level.
1. Native Excel Interface
real Excel instead of „similar to Excel“, everyone knows how to use, maximum flexibility, bring your excel files and keep them, no „one-way Import“
2. Real-time Aggregation
Insights in real-time, sum-up by simple double-clicking in dimension trees, no parameter configuration and no nasty waiting for report rendering
3. Flexible Data-Models
create your own data models, connect your existing spreadsheets, upload your actuals, enter figures as well as (rich text) comments
simplicity by design, simple e-mail invitation for planners, database-linked excel sheets, display actuals and former forecast values, write new forecast values, opening and closing of collection loops
5. Many Users @ Low Cost
maximum user scaling, maximum data scaling, marginal costs per user near 0, pay-as-you-go
6. Service-oriented Cloud Solution
specialised SaaS application for data collection, used as single service or as part of an overall planning system, delivers smart data to dashboard applications, open I/O strategy, no initial investment, no infrastructure
What about existing products and solutions, why not using one of them?
data1.io wants to automatize forecasting and data collection processes where existing solutions can not help, because they either have no Excel Interface, are not web-based or are simply too expensive due to a costly per user licensing.
Compared to integrated forecasting modules in CRM-/ERP software … data1.io delivers a very attractive licensing model to connect 100s or 1000s of decentralized forecasters and data collectors, additionally the native excel user interface mostly is easier to use.
Compared to BI planning software … data1.io is a solution specialized on only 1 task: decentralized („bottom up“) forecasting and data collection. It delivers a very attractive licensing model for 100s or 1000s of users. Compared to server based software the deployment as SaaS solution does not require any local infrastructure. data1.io does not replace BI planning solutions but will complement them.
Compared to traditional Excel VBA-Solutions … data.io is a modern web-based solution with no local client installation and therefore no client maintenance. It can be used also with Excel Online in the Cloud or on-premise with Office Online Server / SharePoint.
Compared to Spreadsheets in SharePoint Libraries or Google Drive … data1.io separates the data from the spreadsheet into a BI database, delivers workflow automation, integration of actuals and real-time reports.
Compared to SharePoint Lists and Workflows … data1.io uses native – user friendly – excel instead of web forms, delivers a BI database as backbone with integration of actuals, business intelligence and real-time reports.
Compared to individual forecast solutions … data1.io can be used very flexible for many usecases, uses native excel instead of a grid and is probably cheaper.
How does it work, which technologies are used?
data1.io uses Templates in Excel or Excel Online as User Interface (Frontend), a modern Taskpane Add-In for the data exchange (Read/Write) and an Azure hosted webservice to store/retrieve the data in/from the cloud (Backend).
- Templates = normal Excel files enriched with data1 parameters in order to enter your data and report the (aggregated) collected data … different use cases are realized with different templates. The data1 system is completely open for any templates that contain the technical data1 definitions.
- Webservice = the heart and brain of the data1 application. It transforms the collected data to records and writes it to the data1 cloud database. In reading mode, the webservice extracts and optionally aggregates the records for delivery to the Excel Add-In.
How can data1.io be used?
First, test the showcases for free.
Test the currently available alpha-version of the data1 application with the Taskpane Add-In from the Office Store and one of our templates. Just download one of the templates, start it in Excel 2013/2016 or in Excel Online, install the data1 Excel Add-In from the Office Store and register/login. Then test the data1.io service with the showcases.
Second, get your custom enterprise solution.
At this stage of the development, we offer custom enterprise solutions with special early-bird-rights. This offer enables companies, to deploy individual forecasting and data collection solutions with this new generation of technology. Either in the Microsoft Azure Cloud or on-premises in your private network – as you prefer! Contact us if you have a project in the area of forecasting and data collection and if the data1.io technology is interesting for your project.
Who uses data1.io?
data1.io is used by companies or public institutions
- who are typically innovative pioneers within their line of industry
(1) with a data-driven management culture
(2) with a strong digital transformation strategy
(3) investing in projects to automatize business processes
- who have a need for forecasting and/or smart data collection
(1) with a number of users > 100 (but at least > 5),
(2) with the need the flexibility of an excel interface for those processes (because maybe other projects in this area already failed)
(3) with a preference for a cloud solution (although data1.io offers for early-bird-customers also an on-premise option)
- who ideally were already evaluating a custom solution based on the new Excel Web Add-In technology and are searching for a technology partner
data1.io is not the right solution for companies who
- are happy with their existing forecasting and/or smart data collection processes (using spreadsheets, E-mail, Intranet, etc.)
- are not happy but are searching for a free or very cheap solution
- are too small companies with only a few users involved
- did not evaluate the alternatives (e.g. Sales Forecasting in CRM-System, Budget Planning in HR-System, etc.)