Case Study

How Prefect Models Accurately with 3x the Speed

Learn how Prefect makes better decisions in record time with Causal's Revenue-Led Planning Platform
40 hours saved per month
Streamlined scenario analysis and reporting requirements
6 week onboarding
Onboarding and support have enabled the Prefect team to be self-sufficient
More time for strategic partnership  
Time freed up to focus on strategic, value-add work.
B2B SaaS
Prefect is an open source tool for coordinating data flows. Prefect orchestrates data pipelines at scale and observes your stack using the Prefect Python Library.

The problem

Accurately modelling revenue across product lines is crucial for the Prefect finance team. While experiencing rapid growth and ever changing business requirements, Thomas, the SVP of Finance quickly reached the limitations of conventional spreadsheet-based FP&A:

  • Difficulty Maintaining Corporate Model - In Excel, manual data imports, complex formulas, and a lack of auditability made it difficult to maintain the model while incorporating accurate historicals and dynamic projections.
  • Inflexibility - Thomas found it difficult to build a modular Excel model that was easy to update when business requirements changed. This rigidness forced the team to complete patchwork across the model, which decreased the accuracy of projections
  • Inability to Effectively Visualize Data - The manual nature of the model made creating compelling charts and visuals cumbersome. With disconnected data and changing assumptions, each visual had to be subsequently updated as changes were made in the model.

The solution

Dynamic and Integrated Modelling

Working with Excel, it was time-consuming and stressful for Thomas to re-engineer the corporate model any time the business changed.

With Prefect’s rapid growth, it was essential for Thomas to work with a platform that supported integrated, dynamic and scalable modeling.

Thomas now treats Causal as Prefect’s strategic hub of finance as he efficiently models revenue forecasts, OPEX forecasts, sales team attainment, quota capacity driven forecasts, full cash-flow statements and headcount modeling into one centralized view.

Causal now calculates all core KPIs and projections automatically, with Thomas only updating assumptions when needed.

Robust Scenario Planning

"Causal’s scenario planning feature is a game-changer, allowing our executives to evaluate paths forward, especially in uncertain times."

Using an array of scenarios that would have broken Excel many times over, Prefect can now efficiently evaluate changes in demand and prices, and dynamically chart them against each other in a visual and intuitive way, keeping all their ducks in a row. What used to take dozens of hours a month now takes minutes for Thomas and his team.

Quick Onboarding and Self-Sufficiency

Over a six week period, Thomas worked with Causal’s customer success team to get Prefect’s existing corporate model up and running. With Causal’s coaching-first approach, Thomas gained the skills and confidence necessary to truly own Prefect’s model.

Thomas is now self-sufficient with Causal, and has made over 100 enhancements to the model post-implementation. This lets his team plan more accurately, account for more scenarios and deliver significantly more value across the business.

The outcome

Agile FP&A

Prefect’s finance team can now act quickly on requests across the business, letting them work as a strategic partner to the business, informing decisions and advising across the organization.

Prefect’s finance team sends budget vs actual reports in seconds, quickly evaluates and presents scenarios to leadership, and answers investor questions promptly, all while spending a third of the time modelling, with twice the accuracy.

Infrastructure Built for Strategic Partnership

Instead of having to hire a team to ‘clunk around in Excel’, Causal has allowed Thomas to defer hiring an FP&A analyst and own the entire FP&A function himself.

As Prefect grows, Thomas looks forward to hiring an FP&A analyst that will have superpowers in Causal. Instead of spending all this time reconciling numbers, they’ll be able to learn and grow faster than many of their peers, and make an impact right from day one.

85 Employees, $46m raised
"Causal is a game changer for us -- we moved from manual and siloed forecasting processes in Excel to now having automatically ingested actuals and  dynamic and intelligent projections and forecasts. We can now communicate results quickly and accurately while being a true business partner to the rest of the organization."
Thomas Egbert
SVP FInance

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