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Can CPM systems handle ad hoc analysis?


"My hesitation in getting rid of spreadsheets in favor of more automated analytic and CPM systems is that I lose the ability to do ad hoc analysis as the business changes. Canned systems and reports haven't been able to give me what I need in changing environments. What advice do you have in that regard?"

This question was asked at a recent webinar, now available on-demand:

"Eliminating the Risks of Spreadsheets Within Financial Processes"

Please add your thoughts about it below. Thanks!


Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

First, the question/concern does not make sense. How does automated analytic and CPM systems prevent you from making ad hoc analysis on spreadsheets? It is not like the systems "eliminate" your option to use spreadsheets.

Second, most "canned" analysis systems can be reconfigured if assumptions changes.

Third, you are worrying about the very few times that you need ad hoc analysis and sacrifice the 95% of the time that the automated systems can help you.

Topic Expert
Alan Hart
Title: Consultant
Company: Pacific Shine Group
(Consultant, Pacific Shine Group) |

One great feature of spreadsheets is that they can connect to data sources, such as databases, to import data from various tables and create exactly the queries you need. The spreadsheets, in this case, do not perform complex calculations, but rather, display the data either in tabular or graphical format, where you can use all of the display and data manipulation that the spreadsheet offers without subjecting your data to the risk of errors and omissions.

Bryan Lapidus
Title: Principal
Company: Clarent Ventures LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Principal, Clarent Ventures LLC) |

I attended a demo from Host Analytics in which they showed the ability to make Excel spreadsheets within the boundaries of their system. That would facilitate the linkage to the overall CPM model. I cannot speak to whether other applications have similar functionality.


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