How Notion uses Equals
Abbey Lauren Minondo | | 3 min read
“Equals is where I do all of my analysis. It gives me back at least an hour or two every week. You’ll never get my hands off of this product.” – Nic Malianni, Head of Accounting
Discovering the opportunity
Notion has revolutionized the note-taking world with its sleek design and customizable interface. Their relentless focus on making software intuitive and beautiful has contributed in large part to their success: they have a legendary cult-like following sprawled across the globe. At Equals, we take a similar approach to crafting our product, by honing in on the details and obsessing over the customer experience.
Nic, Head of Accounting at Notion, was hopeful that there would be a product that would eliminate the more tedious parts of his job: downloading queried output from BI tools and pasting them into spreadsheets. The inevitable human error that comes from copy-pasting data and the infamous “where did this query come from?” were things he was looking to avoid. That’s why, when he first heard that there was a spreadsheet natively connected to your data, he knew he needed to give it a try.
“The kind of reporting that I run necessitates looking at the details on an ongoing basis. I need the flexibility to rapidly answer questions about everything that affects the business. Equals is really powerful because it helps me move faster on a daily basis – I can easily write a query to bring the data I need, aggregate or disaggregate in any way I’d like, and automatically update ongoing analyses to pinpoint critical business trends.”
Since first starting out in the product a little over a year ago, Nic uses Equals for ARR reconciliation, GAAP revenue reporting, month end close reviews, revenue analysis and for identifying growth opportunities. Equals is now the default analytics tool for the Accounting team, replacing the download-from-Hex-or-Mode-into-Excel workflow. Earlier this year, when Notion first rolled out their AI offering, they modeled that revenue reporting in Equals.
“At a single time I usually have six or seven Equals tabs open – and I’m constantly sharing graphs I’ve made in Equals with others on our team. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Equals from folks at Notion, or I’ll hear someone bring it up in a meeting. It’s been really cool to see how fast Equals has been catching on across other departments.”
Over the last year, Equals has become heavily embedded into Notion’s tech stack. Not only has Nic found Equals to be a critical tool for his role, members of his team have also readily adopted our spreadsheets.
Kevin Kim, an Accounting Manager at Notion was introduced to Equals by Nic. “I used to dread working on a Mac computer, until I tried Equals. Alt mode combined with SQL has unlocked a new level of productivity for me. You don’t often find beautiful and functional software for tasks that involve things like analyzing sales taxes across the globe. When it comes to automating and aggregating data from providers that have painful data exports, like NetSuite, Equals has been a total game changer.”
Kevin mentions that Equals has not only saved him time but also allowed him to become more granular in his reporting. “I’ve been working in Equals for around a year now and I’ve built a ton of pretty awesome things at this point. I’ve been able to refine and share back meaningful dashboards with the team that update automatically. That’s also allowed me to continually focus on improving our numbers and dig deeper into our analyses, since I don’t have to spend time refreshing models or requesting data pulls. In short, I enjoy my work a lot more now.”
Beyond the accounting team, others at Notion have also made their way into Equals. From Product to BizOps to Strategic Finance to Product Marketing, many have used Equals for all kinds of ad hoc analysis. As a company of Notion users ourselves, it’s been awesome to hear how they’ve been using us. 🤝
By Abbey Lauren Minondo
Business Operations at Equals