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Datarails vs. Workday Adaptive Planning

The global financial planning software market is expected to be one of the fastest growing industries. In 2021, it was valued as a $3.7 billion industry, and it is projected to reach $16.9 billion by 2031!


With the ever increasing amount of data and real time updates, financial planning and analysis is able to play a far bigger role in a company’s financial decisions thanks to automation and software solutions.


With the industry expected to take off in the very near future, many great FP&A software solutions are available today- and the list is growing. Our team at The Finance Weekly has put together a comprehensive comparison report between two of the top solutions on the market, Datarails and Workday Adaptive Planning.

Side by Side Comparison
Workday Adaptive Planning
Excel Compatibility
Complete native Excel functionality as if you never left Excel. Internal financial models can be imported as well.
No native Excel. Can import or export Excel data, but doesn’t allow users to continue using all Excel capabilities.
Power BI
Customized dashboard and no need to learn BI
Need to learn Power BI/ coding
Third Party Integrations
Integrates with all of the big software applications (Salesforce, Hubspot, Sage, etc.) in addition to a wide variety of options with over 30 available integrations
A large variety of third party integrations including Oracle, SAP, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, MS Dynamics, and Salesforce
Integrating Systems
CRM, ERP, HRIS and more
Dashboards have easy to use drill down functions with live charts and real time visualizations
Interactive dashboards with options to change values in the dashboard or adjust multiple value and see how they affect the whole analysis
Customer geographic segmentation
Mostly US, UK, and Canada
Large variety all over the world
Medium, and Large Businesses
Onboarding Engagement
2 weeks for implementation
4-5 months for complete onboarding on average
One of the lowest prices on the market- starting at $24k per year
Expensive pricing meant for large enterprises ($40k/ year and above)

Most Recommended









Very Good




Plans and Pricing:


Workday Adaptive Planning carries an average price tag for its services- not too expensive, but not too cheap either. Datarails, on the other hand, has one of the lowest prices on the market. With yearly contracts starting at around $24,000, the price and flexibility are very difficult to beat. 

Winner: Datarails






Both solutions have excellent integrations allowing users to take full advantage of all of the data and analytics at their disposal. They both integrate with any system no matter the source or format (CRM, ERP, HRIS, etc.), and both provide automated data flows. In regards to third party integrations, here too both companies give their customers everything they need. Datarails and Workday provide third party integrations with dozens of software applications including Oracle, Hubspot, SAP, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, and Salesforce, just to name a few.

Winner: Tie




Target Audience:


Datarails was built for small and medium sized businesses and is the go to solution for organizations of these sizes. However, Workday Adaptive Planning caters to a wider audience which includes large businesses and organizations of all sizes. In addition, they have a wider customer base in all areas around the world. 

Winner: Workday Adaptive Planning

Features and Functionality:


Both solutions do their job quite well- they provide automated and analytical ways to budget, forecast, and plan by creating a host of tools and dashboards. But Datarails has a few functions that help create an easier and more efficient experience. Datarails has a native Excel function which means that by using pre-existing Excel knowledge, the finance team can continue their work while being provided advanced analytics and forecasting. In addition, there is no need to learn Power BI as it integrates seamlessly. These functions greatly reduce the onboarding time, which on average comes out to half the amount of time that it takes to fully onboard other FP&A solutions. 

Winner: Datarails

Datarails Customer Reviews:


“Prior to Datarails our FP&A was run exclusively through maintaining numerous Excel files which resulted in a much longer monthly close process. Through Datarails, we were able to automate the generation of our allocation based segment/product P&Ls, and monthly variance reporting to Budget/prior forecast. Datarails also reduced the probability of human error.”

Massimo M.



“Datarails automates and standardizes the reporting process while allowing us to use Excel as the input tool. It tracks changes and keeps version history on the reports and data submitted. It also helps in distributing the information by defining access rights on the reports at various levels. We also use Datarails for data input in the budgeting process.”

Alexander H. 

Manager accounting

Workday Customer Reviews:


“We plan at a very granular level, and Adaptive's formulas and overall approach to modeling has made this tool a pleasure to work with. Like any new tool, it took our team a little bit of time (~3 months) of getting used to it, but this is simply a tool we can't live without now.”

Brad M.

Senior Director of Finance


“Overall we have been pleased with Adaptive Planning. We originally transitioned to Adaptive from excel based reporting due to increasing data allocation requirements. After several months of implementation we were able to start populating our weekly financial reports entirely from data exported from Adaptive. The end result has been a significant decrease in reporting time.”

Sam P.

Financial Analyst



Workday Adaptive Planning:

Workday Adaptive Planning (formerly Adaptive Insights until they were acquired by Workday in 2018) is a top of the line FP&A software solution that has been around for close to 20 years. The long list of software integrations that they provide along with the ability to create analytics and scenario planning, allows each organization to make the best decisions for their company while saving time by automating the month end close. Despite its downsides of taking longer to fully onboard and not being able to use all of the Excel capabilities, Workday Adaptive Planning is a great choice for large organizations. 

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Datarails’ unique benefits include exactly what Workday Adaptive Planning is missing- native Excel and quick implementation times. These benefits combined with great dashboards and automation functions that allows for saving time during budgeting and forecasting makes it an attractive choice on the FP&A market. Datarails is best for small and medium sized businesses, and by offering one of the lowest and most flexible prices out there, they are a great choice for companies that fit this description. 

Final score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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