Excel analysis, design and build

Excel/spreadsheets are one of the most commonly used business tools worldwide.  The flexibility of a spreadsheet and the macros that can be built enables businesses and individuals to develop cost effective and quick IT solutions.
 
RPM Consulting have seen all types of spreadsheets, the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Common problems with spreadsheets:

We have put together a few of the danger signals that you may see in your spreadsheets, each of these could indicate that what you are working with isn't quite a robust as you initially thought.  


The 'Black Box'

Documentation

A spreadsheet has been developed and employees blindly use it without knowing what it does.  If the spreadsheet is keystone to your business can you take this risk?
The majority of spreadsheets have little or no technical documentation.  This is a major issue for quality and audit purposes.  Can you say that your business would be able to justify how and why they are using it?

Security

Business Intelligence and Intellectual Property

Spreadsheets often contain valuable business intelligence, whether it is facts and figures or a complex process or calculation, is your business advantage and data protected?  Is there a better solution?
There are multiple cases where a spreadsheet has been password protected and no one longer knows the password.  Is the spreadsheet secure at all?

Design and Structure

Audit and Version Control

The nature of spreadsheet development means most are poorly designed and structured.  This makes redevelopment on and understanding it down the line more costly and time consuming.
Spreadsheets tend not to have an audit record of who has made changes and when, how can you be sure that the version you are working on hasn't been changed in some way?

If these sound familiar, we have a number of solutions

Spreadsheet design and build

Spreadsheet analysis and audit

  • We can use our automated review software to perform a standard analysis on your spreadsheet
  • Full spreadsheet and macro review which can contain:
  • Technical review
  • Content (business rules) review
  • Calculation analysis
  • Using excel as a specification for further development work
  • Fully documented
  • Built to our in house Solution Development Lifecycle (SDLC) standards
  • Fully automated test harness and packs
  • Fast, accurate and business ready
  • RAD - Rapid Application Development

Business and systems analysis

Optimisation

  • Aligning spreadsheet tools with business strategy
  • Turning tactical fixes in to long term solutions
  • Review existing spreadsheets and advise on improvements to the architecture
  • Speed up processes using VBA
  • Connection and integration with databases (SQL, MS Access)
  • Out of the box solution - add .NET code, suggest a more suitable solution

Spreadsheet remediation

  • Custom built full regression test packs
  • Add automated testing
  • Update existing spreadsheets

Our previous work

Our previous work has included

RAD  (Rapid Application Development) - Excel is also a handy tool for RAD, we have regularly and succesfully used Excel to create quick and accurate temporary solutions, templates and mock ups.
  • Data analysis – integrating Excel with SQL server and  MS Access databases
  • External facing tools – focusing on the user’s experience and security
  • Internal tools – accessed by multiple users.
  • Complex calculation tools, fully documented and audited.
  • Converting excel spreadsheets to web services and solutions
  • Dashboard creation for MI and BI

From spreadsheet to website

RPM IT Consulting have developed a unique process to analyse and convert calculations spreadsheets in to code to be used in a web site.  This speeds up the process of developing a calculation based web page making the jump from spreadsheet to website safer, more efficient and more cost effective than ever before.