Ensuring that Excel does not become a mortgage
Excel, which enjoys great popularity in the financial world, is also frequently used for budgeting, planning and forecasting. Despite Excel’s shortcomings as a data management program, it can be a useful option in many cases and is easy and quick to use.
However, distributed, inconsistent and unstructured data is very difficult to consolidate and use for data intelligence purposes. For this reason, more and more companies are replacing Excel with dedicated budget, planning and forcasting (BP&F) solutions that transform data into insights about the business and enable analytics such as reporting.
With the “FAST-Framework” (Financial-Application-Solution-Template) 1stQuad has developed a solution that is as simple as it is efficient: Companies can use modern and very lean web (or mobile) applications that help users enter and manage data as they would in Excel.
The interface is designed like Excel, but in the background the data is stored in a structured way. Data entry can be subject to complex rules and validations, comparing entries to previous time periods, guiding the user, and more. All things that make Excel difficult to capture and process distributed data in a consistent way.
Management of multi-dimensional organizational structures, roles and process flows, supported by interfaces to other IS systems (MasterData, ActiveDirectory, Office, ERP, etc.), a unique security system and template-based workflows.
Based on structures such as organizations, the necessary participants can be invited, notified, reminded or even admonished. Tasks can be shared or delegated, data can be released via workflows. Of course, the data and all actions are protected by a role-based authorization system.
In-app dashboards with charts, pivot tables and reports. Export to various formats. Ability to extend with Microsoft PowerBI, Reporting Services and other BI tools for custom analysis and reporting.
Infinite number of use cases
Excel-based use cases that could be replaced by such an approach seem to exist in infinite abundance and in almost all companies: Planning investments, projects, events, as well as safety, quality, performance or maintenance measures or events. As well as anything else from the universe of cost capture. The only prerequisite is that many stakeholders collect data in a distributed and periodic manner, and that this data is then used and consolidated centrally. If this is the case, a lot can be achieved with very little effort.
- Ease of use: Easily extract and create custom views for reports and dashboards.
- Simplification: Enhanced capabilities of modern development platforms and tools provide improved usability and efficiency
- Unified process: pull together control information, including defect records, from multiple sources
- Centralization: Consolidation of all relevant tools into one for management oversight
- Accountability: traceability of activities and better visibility of tasks
- Interfaces: Consume and distribute data to leverage synergies
The reuse of a mature, on-premise and continuously growing framework enables rapid implementation with low TCO & risk.
The versatile FAST Framework is suitable wherever demanding business requirements need to be met.
Its strengths include information management and processing, complex approval processes, calculations, automated creation of office documents, flexible dashboards, detailed analysis and straightforward integration with other IT systems.
Are you curious? If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Hofer.
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