In the world of financial planning and analysis, we’ve long been hamstrung by financial products and tools that, while powerful, can be somewhat clunky to use. Traditionally they’ve taken lots of time and training to move through the learning curve and the sheer complexity has meant that the user experience has been deprioritized and the functionality has been front and center.
Here at Apliqo, we set out to change this with our Apliqo UX solution which takes the very best in user experience design and brings it to your TM1 applications to transform how the product feels and to bring greater efficiency and usability to your workflows. In this article, we’ll look at 5 reasons why this matters and how a great user interface can improve the overall results delivered by your planning and analysis tools.
Strong data visualization makes for better decisions.
Data is at the core of every FP&A journey but when you’re simply looking at it in its raw form, it can be overwhelming and difficult to contextualize – especially if you’re a manager who wasn’t involved in the accounting work that it took to arrive at the results. A strong user interface helps to visualize this data in numerous ways – allowing for in-depth analysis and a bigger picture perspective that can help with strategic decision-making. You want something that is intuitive and lends itself to vibrant visualization so that you can extract the value you need and communicate it effectively.
Customizable reports empower users to dig deeper.
When a user can easily set up a custom report that is dynamic and connected to the wider ecosystem, that puts the power back into their hands. Instead of having to wait for a developer to code up something, users can interact with the tool directly and create powerful reports that speak to the things that they care about. By empowering your staff in this way, everyone gets closer to the ground and that can lead to significant improvements in domain knowledge, metric accountability, and so much more.
Better transparency improves overall accountability.
Another thing that a good user interface does is to increase the amount of transparency that is in the organization. By bringing the data closer to end-users in an accessible way – you make it easier to hold stakeholders accountable for what they need to focus on. This bottom-up approach is a more robust and sustainable way to tackle large strategic objectives without alienating your various teams whose scope and influence are limited.
A good interface frees up developer time to focus on higher-value tasks.
Your development time is a finite resource and it is in high demand in today’s world. Therefore, anything you can do to free up this valuable time is worth its weight in gold. A user interface that is accessible means that your developers will receive far fewer queries about simple things and this frees them up to tackle the complex problems that are better suited to their skills. A good user interface makes things self-service and this can only help over the long term.
You can systematize best practices and achieve better consistency.
When a user interface can be customized for your unique needs, you’re able to integrate industry best practices directly into your front-end system – meaning that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. Whether it’s reporting quirks, key metrics, or company-specific requirements, a good user interface can seamlessly integrate this and make it automatic for all users, regardless of context. This makes a big difference at scale and it’s something that you won’t realize how important it is until you do it.
So there are just 5 reasons why a user interface can make such a big difference to your FP&A workflows. With Apliqo UX we’ve worked hard to enable these capabilities and we continue to hear stories from our clients about how some simple changes can truly transform the TM1 experience.
If you’d like to explore a better user interface for your organization, get in touch today and let us show you just how Apliqo UX works. We think it’ll be the best decision you’ve made all year.