Spreadsheets – Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them
April 26, 2018
Imagine a world with no spreadsheets…. sounds scary, right? Many years back, I remember how apprehensive I was when smartphones were introduced and people told me I had to get rid of my ‘keyboard’ phone that I proudly used. It was white, I could snap the keyboard out and type so easily, and it would snap back in, become compact, and fit right into my jeans pocket (yes, I am short so size does matter!). I couldn’t dream of parting with it until the inevitable happened. It caught the attention of my 2-year-old and the rest …
I still think it was some sort of divine intervention because I wouldn’t have traded it otherwise! So, the smooth salesperson sold me a touch phone and now I cannot imagine how I ever lived without it. It still doesn’t fit in my pocket, but I have learned to carry it around with some fashionable accessories.
The power of spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are amazing tools, and personally I am addicted to them. They are great for calculating my total expenses when I submit my travel claims, they are great for quick calculations when I am reconciling a specific formula, and spreadsheets are a great way to track the status of my task list (More evidence that I am old fashioned and resist change; I have not moved to cool new age tools for managing my lists). However, managing global risk for a multi-million-dollar raw materials portfolio with auditors to answer to on a spreadsheet is a lot more complicated.
The downside of spreadsheets
More than 95% of the companies we have spoken to run some or all of their commodity risk on spreadsheets. Understandable, because everyone knows how to use spreadsheets and we all love them. But for something so complicated – with so much information to aggregate, analyze, and interpret – using spreadsheets is dangerous. Manually aggregating and analyzing data opens the door to human error, one of the biggest issues with spreadsheets. In fast moving markets, the time spent reconciling spreadsheets increases risk and takes away precious time that could otherwise be spent on strategic analysis. And what about losing the rich historical store of data which could otherwise be used for understanding trends, spotting patterns, and measuring historical performance?
A better way
Some companies have taken the bold step to be pioneers and embrace the inevitable change to automated systems, replacing spreadsheets with a faster, more effective solution. Others know they have to change, but they just aren’t sure how to start.
Are you ready to leave your spreadsheets behind so you can decrease risk and improve reporting? Eka’s solutions for risk automatically aggregate and analyze data, eliminating human error and generating insight when you need it, not hours or days later. Eka provides risk limit alerts so you can proactively act to reduce risk when necessary.
Talk to us to learn how we can help you reduce risk and improve reporting, just like we enabled Renewable Energy Group to turn a four-day reporting cycle into a 15-minute process, and helped this large US dairy company to generate a real-time analysis of position and risk on-demand, enabling faster, better decision making.