Critics of Excel espouse the idea that while spreadsheets are effective for small scale ad hoc analysis and self-contained reporting, they are not suitable for budgeting and planning at a detailed level. Organizations face difficulties with their processes mainly due to the defects in spreadsheets.
Further, there are issues faced by many excel users such as security, traceability, control, and critical delays in getting reports to certain users.
So is it a bad idea to report, analyze, and budget in Excel? Not at all.
While all these claims are well founded, the real problem lies in how Excel is being used.
A good way to resolve these spreadsheet issues is to shift to an Excel-based Business Intelligence system. A system that uses the familiar interface of Excel but does not contain raw data. It instead links cells in worksheets to multidimensional data that is stored either locally or on a server.
With this, we allow Excel spreadsheets to pull up data from cubes in the database. It then sends to add-ins, receives results, processes in the spreadsheets, and finally writes the results back to the database with a just a simple recalculation of the workbook.
This way, we can still make use of Excel´s ability to generate easily readable reports and analyses while removing the limitations of Excel to do other more complex financial calculations. Further, an Excel BI system is integrated with role based security so business users can manage the entire process easily while maintaining full control over all processes, data, and user access.
This new technology even allows automation of the import of external data sources guaranteeing a single version of the truth which is one of the biggest struggles with spreadsheets.
Most importantly, an Excel-based BI system not only addresses the myriad of spreadsheet problems, it also tends to be inexpensive and easy to adopt for finance users without the constant assistance of the IT team.
If you are looking for a system that will transform your data to actionable information within a profitable timeframe for your business, Performance Canvas by DSPanel can help.
Performance Canvas is a powerful, easy to use, intuitive, and error free budgeting, reporting and analysis, and consolidating tool.
DSPanel offers cutting edge technology platform for business analytics, planning, and visualization. DSPanel designs, builds, and operates with the end users in mind. Performance Canvas was created by DSPanel to answer the unarticulated needs of the market not addressed by previous available solutions. With Performance Canvas, information is transformed into valuable business insights for the business executives to utilize in their decision-making process. DSPanel currently has over 2500 organizations deploying their solutions.