Spreadsheets are used heavily in business for a vast array of applications. Yet everybody knows that spreadsheets are risky and the root cause of a large number of financial and operational blow ups. The latest example being the billions of dollars of losses racked up by JPMorgan’s Chief Investment Office.
Some organisations are now acting to address the spreadsheet problem, either through spreadsheet policies or by implementing control systems. In the past these projects have been costly and hard to implement. Now technology and techniques are beginning to emerge that can turn spreadsheet weaknesses into a strength. Using the right techniques spreadsheet projects can generate significant cost savings and improved service. Often the benefits can be really substantial with a return on investment of 500% or more.
To understand how to achieve this we need to step through the lifecycle of a spreadsheet application, its impact on the organisation and what it takes to control it.