While there may be less weariness about macroeconomic conditions than this time last year, with only 17% of business executives still anticipating a recession in the next six months (down from 35% in October 2022), it still appears the time for a growth-at-all-costs mindset is long gone. Today, we’re seeing organizations shift towards balancing cost-savings with efficient growth. Every business is continuing to look at the technologies and processes they invest in with increased scrutiny, and owners are encouraged to identify as many areas of optimization as possible.
Incentive compensation is no exception here, especially with many Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) tools having high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
The data management process — or the process of continually aggregating and refining a business's data sources into a commissions-ready state — is a critical but historically costly task in the incentive compensation sphere. Despite data being the backbone of commissions, to-date, comp analysts have been stuck choosing between the lesser of evils when it comes to getting that data commissions-ready:
- Slow, manual, and error-prone data cleanup exercise in spreadsheets: Analysts who run commissions out of spreadsheets spend hours on a tedious and error-prone data cleanup exercise.
- Disjointed, costly, and consultant-reliant aggregation in legacy ICM tools: While many of the legacy ICM tools do offer ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) tools for data management, they’re often blackboxes that require consultants for setup and maintenance.
- Grueling, one-off data manipulation to fit into rigid templates from legacy ICM vendors: If you don’t want to hand-off the work to services, analysts can try to wedge their data into their ICM vendor’s templates. However, this very manual exercise often requires reliance on internal IT or data teams.
To top it all off, not a single one of these options offers the flexibility for analysts to easily adapt their data setup over time as they add new data sources, teams, fields, or more into their commission program, leaving them reactively fighting fires with a slow, costly, and unsustainable process.
With TCO top of mind, the ability to prep and adapt a commissions-ready dataset quickly and independently offers significant opportunities to save.
Real-time Data Management, Powered by SmartGrid
Because our founders experienced these pains first hand when relying on legacy tools and spreadsheets, they had a vision to create a solution that would bring all of the purpose-built power of an ICM tool, but with the usability and familiarity of a spreadsheet. While building upon this dream, they delivered their biggest innovation yet, SmartGrid™, our proprietary ELT (Extract-Load-Transform) and calculation engine powering our modern modeling experience.
While we shared news about our SmartGrid calculation engine - which helps businesses run commission calculations in real-time, at scale – earlier this year, our SmartGrid ELT engine also powers real-time data management for CaptivateIQ users. Unlike the more antiquated ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) approach that requires you to prep your data beforehand, our proprietary ELT engine enables customers to bring in their data in any format first. Then, it allows them to quickly get it into a commissions-ready state, in-app with no-code, both now and as their business changes.
How Real-time Data Management Works in CaptivateIQ
CaptivateIQ's Real-time Data Management suite Powered by SmartGrid enables CaptivateIQ to be the most flexible, self-service, and familiar ICM solution, holding true to our promise of making commissions 10x better.
- Flexible: Pull in data from any source, in any format, with our native Data Connectors
CaptivateIQ prides itself on being a data agnostic platform, which simply means we can take any of your data as-is. Rather than needing to be prepped before loading, CaptivateIQ allows you to load up to 25 million records of data per sync from sources like Salesforce, NetSuite, and Snowflake, and clean up data directly within CaptivateIQ.
- Easy: Quickly & easily massage data to your needs with real-time, no-code transformations
Once your data is pulled into CaptivateIQ via our connectors, you’ll be able to aggregate all your data on the spot to meet the unique needs of your business. Our transformation composer can do what most ETL tools do with SQL, but in a point & click way, enabling you to remove IT, data teams, or consultants from your processes.
- Familiar: Further enrich your data to your unique needs with a formula library you’ll know
While transforming your data, you’ll also have access to an extensive library of familiar formulas you'll know from spreadsheets to further transform and refine data. Whether you’re looking to use an IF, Count, Vlookup or other formula, you’ll be able to simply scroll and click to apply the formulas you need, thus creating new data from your existing dataset.
This is all directly powered by our SmartGrid ELT engine, with the unique ability to pull in and manage your data, and see the impact of those changes all in one place in real-time. All of these functionalities help support the goal of making the data management process faster, more flexible, and sustainable.
Taking our customers from data burden to data bliss
All of these features and functionality work to deliver unparalleled value to our customers in terms of time and money back to their organizations:
When it comes to getting your commission plans stood up quickly and efficiently, CaptivateIQ is uniquely positioned to allow customers to go live faster, often at nearly half the time of legacy solutions.
Importing and transforming data is easy… makes it one of the best options for time to value.
Lower TCO on commissions data prep
With our real-time data management suite, customers have more ownership over their commissions data and logic, leading them to spend less time and money managing it.
Prior to CaptivateIQ, the process was chaos. It would take us 2-3 days to prep data from all the different sources. There was lots of opportunity for human error as we had to do everything manually and with overly complicated formulas. Now it takes a few hours.
— KC Procter, Director of Operations, The Speaker Lab
Future-proofed data management
The data management process doesn’t start and end in implementation. With Real-time Data Management, Powered by SmartGrid, you can stay confident in your ICM solution’s ability to support the inevitable changes to your comp structure and business with future-proofed data management.
I felt that once I understood it, I could independently maintain our instance without having to constantly require outside services.
— Daniel Kang, Director of Finance, Vectra
Born from a passion for innovation and commissions problem-solving, every piece of CaptivateIQ's Real-time Data Management, Powered by SmartGrid, provides our customers with a modern, intuitive, and scalable way of managing their data. With this care and passion, it’s no wonder that CaptivateIQ received the highest score possible in the Data Management criterion in The Forrester Wave™: Sales Performance Management Platforms, Q1 2023.
Come talk to us about enterprise sales commissions
Curious to learn more about CaptivateIQ’s proprietary SmartGrid™ ELT & calculation engine, and how we’re building the commission solution fit for modern Enterprises? Take a call with someone from our team to learn more about how CaptivateIQ can help get commissions right for your business.