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Coherent vs Schematiq vs Optalitix: How Do They Stack Up?




A visualisation showing digital transformation taking place in the insurance industry

In an era where legacy systems impose significant costs and limitations on growth, and common spreadsheet issues undermine business operations, the need for innovative data analytics solutions has never been more critical. Adopting the right analytics tools to enhance your decision-making and operational efficiency can be as critical as the strategic decisions they inform.


With that in mind, this article compares three leading spreadsheet to code solutions—Coherent, Schematiq, and Optalitix—offering insights into their capabilities, user experience, and potential to transform business operations. 


Explore which tool could be the game-changer your organisation needs to move beyond the constraints of native Excel.


Ease of Use / User Experience (UX)


Coherent - 6/10


Coherent Spark aims to transform how users leverage Excel, providing a platform that converts Excel logic into code. While it boasts the ability to supercharge spreadsheets, feedback suggests a potentially steep learning curve. Users can expect a transformation in spreadsheet processing speeds but may need time to adapt to the platform's approach to Excel model conversion. Users are also required to make a number of data design changes to leverage their approach.


Schematiq - 9/10


While its key offering to convert models to code is the same as the others, Schematiq takes a different approach, focusing intensely on the user experience by offering an intuitive platform that simplifies complex spreadsheets, adhering to the principle that an Excel model should just be business logic and not a mishmash of data / VBA, etc. It's designed with the end-user in mind, ensuring that those with varying levels of technical expertise can enhance their mission-critical Excel models without extensive training. Schematiq's workbench and proprietary datalinks and functions increase performance and scalability while enabling business users to remain in their familiar Excel environment - drastically reducing the learning curve and enhancing productivity from day one.


Optalitix - 7/10


Optalitix presents a solution that incorporates Excel, Python, and low-code user interfaces into its ecosystem, aiming at a balance between flexibility and user-friendliness. The platform's dashboarding and workflow capabilities are noteworthy, offering a degree of customisation and integration potential. However, the melding of various technologies to solve a pain point may require a multi-approach, and users may need to have a broader skill set to fully leverage the platform's capabilities.



Comparative Insight


  • When evaluating ease of use and user experience, each tool brings its own strengths to the table.

  • Coherent aims to ‘lift and shift’ an Excel model into code, though this may become challenging with more complex models and larger data volumes, and it may present a learning curve for non-technical users.

  • Schematiq shines with its salad bar optimisation opportunities around data and computing and platform of capability, helping to reduce key person risk on models and making it more accessible to a wider audience without requiring extensive technical knowledge. 

  • Optalitix, with its integration of Excel, Python, and low-code user interfaces, offers a flexible platform that caters to both technical and non-technical users but requires some familiarity with these environments to fully exploit its capabilities and may still require engineering participation to see success around these opportunities.

  • The choice between these tools hinges on the specific needs and technical proficiency of the user base within an organisation, making Schematiq appealing for its immediate usability, time to market, scalability, and ability to empower non-engineers to transform complex models at their own pace. At the same time, Coherent appears limited in its use and questionable around version control. In comparison, Optalitix offers deeper integration and customisation possibilities for those willing to onboard a larger offering with an associated price tag. 


Capabilities and Features


Coherent - 5/10


  • Excel Logic to Code Conversion: Automates the transformation of simpler Excel models into API-ready code, scaling its application.

  • Spreadsheet Supercharging: Claims a performance improvement of up to 100x over standard Excel, significantly enhancing processing speed, albeit the underlying Excel model may not be performant prior to being converted to an API.

  • Version Control and Analysis: Offers tools for managing versions, testing, analysing, and tracking spreadsheet usage, aiming at operational efficiency. However, it is potentially challenging to debug when things go wrong, and a versioning tool does not compare all logic in an Excel model (only the inputs vs outputs of the API itself).


Schematiq - 9/10


  • Workbench for Spreadsheet Simplification: Provides a unique integrated development environment (IDE) for optimising complex spreadsheets and improving performance and accessibility.

  • Proprietary Datalinks: Allows direct access to data sources, provides an ETL tool in Excel, bypasses Excel's row and compute limitations, and integrates seamlessly with major platforms like SAP and Salesforce.

  • Excel to API Conversion: Beyond simple conversion, Schematiq offers tools for managing operational risks associated with Excel, enhancing the performance of converted APIs.

  • EUC and Model Risk Management: Targets the operational risk of mission-critical spreadsheets, offering a comprehensive suite for audit and compliance.


Optalitix - 7/10


  • Integration of Excel, Python, and Low-Code UI: Supports a diverse range of technologies for flexible dashboard and workflow creation.

  • Optalitix Models: Transforms Excel-based pricing models into cloud-based systems with API access tailored for insurers.

  • Underwriting Workbench: A specialised tool for insurers and MGAs, enhancing underwriting processes.

  • Data Validation: Offers features for analysing Excel-based data from third parties, improving data integrity and decision-making.


Comparative Insight


  • Coherent, Schematiq, and Optalitix each cater to distinct aspects of spreadsheet enhancement and operations.

  • Coherent's focus on converting Excel logic into code positions it well for organisations looking to scale simpler Excel-based applications.

  • Schematiq's broad feature set, including its Workbench for simplifying even the most complex of spreadsheets, plus proprietary datalinks for integrating with external data sources, offers a versatile solution for a variety of Excel-related challenges.

  • Optalitix distinguishes itself with its strong emphasis on the insurance sector, providing tailored solutions like underwriting workbenches and data validation tools.



Cost / Return on Investment (ROI)


Coherent - 5/10


Coherent offers a model that promises significant efficiency gains by converting Excel logic to code, which can dramatically speed up processing times and reduce operational bottlenecks. While its upfront costs might be higher due to the specialised nature of its functionality, the long-term ROI could be substantial for organisations that heavily rely on simpler Excel models and seek to scale these operations effectively. However, Coherent also has a number of variable costs related to the number of API and test calls, restrictions around the size and scale of models, the amount of storage required, etc.



Schematiq - 8/10


Schematiq's pricing strategy offers value through its comprehensive suite of tools that simplify, enhance, and secure Excel operations. Investing in Schematiq often leads to considerable savings in time and resources compared to a ‘convert to code’ approach. Its user-friendly approach reduces the need for extensive training, potentially offering a quicker ROI for businesses aiming for rapid outcomes. Schematiq also does not restrict the number of spreadsheets, 'models', 'workbooks' or Excel-based EUCs, the number of API calls, test calls or volume of storage, etc.



Optalitix - 7/10


Optalitix targets a niche market focusing on the insurance sector, offering specialised tools that can convert Excel-based pricing models into cloud-based systems. This specificity might provide a high ROI for insurance companies and related financial institutions that require precise and reliable data analytics solutions. The cost-effectiveness of Optalitix will largely depend on the extent to which it can streamline and enhance these specialised workflows.



Comparative Insight


  • Coherent, Schematiq, and Optalitix each cater to distinct market needs with their pricing strategies and value propositions.

  • Coherent's model, while initially more costly, is tailored for organisations that can leverage its technology to significantly scale Excel-based operations, offering a high long-term ROI for specific use cases.

  • Schematiq distinguishes itself by providing a versatile and user-friendly platform that addresses a wide array of Excel-related use cases, making it an attractive option for businesses seeking immediate operational efficiencies and risk mitigation. This broad applicability and ease of integration into existing workflows position Schematiq as a cost-effective solution with a rapid ROI.

  • Optalitix, focusing on the insurance sector, offers specialised tools that promise substantial ROI for targeted workflows, albeit with a more limited general market appeal.

  • The decision between these tools hinges on aligning each platform's strengths with organisational goals, operational needs, and the strategic value of enhanced data analytics capabilities.


Scalability

Coherent - 6/10

Coherent specialises in converting simpler Excel models to API-driven applications, offering a scalable option for businesses transitioning from basic Excel functionalities to more robust, scalable applications. While effective for scaling technical processes, Coherent's focus is somewhat narrow, primarily enhancing the scalability of Excel logic itself without extensive support for broader data,  or integration scalability. Additionally if the ‘maths’ in a model is dependent on data in order to compute resultant cells then Coherent is still limited to the row and column limitation found with native Excel.


Schematiq - 9/10

Schematiq stands out for its comprehensive scalability, where it is able to break the glass ceiling when it comes to computing “maths”, which is dependent on multiple data sources, irrespective of the size of those data sources. It integrates deeply with enterprise systems such as SAP and Salesforce, ensuring that proven Excel logic and IP remain a strength as businesses grow. This approach addresses scalability across data, operations and system integrations, making Schematiq a versatile tool that adapts to a company's evolving needs without requiring significant system changes or migrations whilst enabling a reduction in the number of spreadsheet-based EUCs.


Optalitix - 8/10

Optalitix shows its strength in scalability within the insurance sector, converting Excel-based models into scalable, cloud-based systems. While highly effective in its niche, its scalability is more specialised compared to Schematiq's broader applicability across industries and operational challenges.


Comparative Insight

  • Coherent, Schematiq, and Optalitix each bring unique strengths to the table in terms of scalability.


  • Coherent focuses on technical scalability, transforming Excel models into API-driven applications that support business growth, particularly where the enhancement of Excel's core functionalities is crucial.


  • Schematiq offers a holistic scalability solution, excelling in both data processing  / ETL capabilities and seamless integration with enterprise systems. This dual advantage suits organisations seeking versatile growth across various operational fronts.


  • Optalitix shines in providing industry-specific scalability within the insurance sector, optimising Excel-based models for cloud-based systems, although its specialised focus might limit its appeal to broader markets.


  • Choosing the right tool for scalability involves weighing each platform's approach against the specific growth strategies and integration requirements of the business.


Scope of Usability

Coherent - 7/10

Coherent shines in environments where Excel models are central to operations, particularly in the financial and insurance sectors. Its ability to convert Excel logic into scalable APIs makes it a powerful tool for organisations looking to automate and enhance their Excel-based processes. However, its specialised focus may limit its usability in scenarios that require broader data integration or operational flexibility outside of Excel model conversion.


Schematiq - 9/10

Schematiq boasts a broad scope of usability, catering not just to the financial and insurance industries but also to energy, gaming, and beyond. Its strengths lie in its versatile platform that simplifies complex spreadsheets, integrates with data sources, and converts spreadsheets into APIs whilst providing a framework to reduce operational risk. This broad applicability ensures that Schematiq can address a range of challenges, from data analysis and reporting to operational risk management, making it a valuable tool across various departments and industries.


Optalitix - 8/10

Optalitix is particularly adept in the insurance sector, offering tailored solutions that streamline underwriting processes and pricing models. Its scope of usability is enhanced by its ability to integrate Excel, Python, and low-code user interfaces, making it suitable for various data analytics applications. While Optalitix offers significant value within its niche, its specialised focus may not cater as broadly to the varied needs of other sectors as Schematiq does.


Comparative Insight

  • When considering the scope of usability, Schematiq stands out for its ability to serve a wide array of business needs across multiple industries with its comprehensive suite of tools.

  • Coherent offers solid capabilities for Excel model conversion, appealing to businesses focused on automating and scaling these processes.

  • Optalitix provides specialised, industry-specific solutions, particularly for the insurance sector, highlighting its value in targeted applications.

  • The selection among these tools depends on the specific usability requirements of the organisation, with Schematiq offering the most versatility for a broad range of operational and analytical needs.


How to Choose the Best Tool For You

Selecting between Coherent, Schematiq, and Optalitix hinges on understanding your organisation's unique requirements and how each tool's strengths align with your strategic goals.

  • Assess Your Primary Needs: Identify the key use cases you aim to address. Is it about enhancing and scaling Excel's native capabilities, automating processes, integrating with complex systems or reducing operational risks associated with EUC? Your core needs will significantly influence your choice.

  • Consider Ease of Use: Reflect on the technical proficiency of your team. If ease of use and a minimal learning curve are priorities, tools with a user-friendly interface and comprehensive support should be at the top of your list.

  • Evaluate Capabilities and Features: Match your operational and analytical requirements with the capabilities of each tool. Whether it's data processing, integration with other software, or scalability, ensure the tool you choose can handle your specific scenarios.

  • Analyse Cost vs. ROI: Consider the upfront cost and the potential return on investment. A tool that offers a rapid and significant ROI might justify a higher initial expense.

  • Determine Scalability Needs: Future-proof your choice by opting for a tool that can scale with your business. This means looking beyond current needs to how the tool will perform as your data and operational complexity grow.

  • Scope of Usability Across Industries: Ensure the tool's applicability across various departments and industries, especially if your organisation operates across multiple sectors.


Choose Schematiq for Breadth and Depth of Capability 

We invite you to explore Schematiq further and discover how it can transform your business's approach to a variety of EUC use cases. Learn more about our solutions here, or get in touch for a detailed discussion on how Schematiq can meet your specific needs. Your strategic decisions are only as good as the tools you employ – ensure you’re equipped with the best.



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