Do you trust Excel to run your agency?

18 Apr 2019

When things get out of control

Over the past 30 + years, however, many people have used Excel as their main business analysis tool, and some have modified and extended spreadsheets until they are so complex that the drivers of these monumental spreadsheets have become all-powerful.

During Pegasus installations, we have seen spreadsheets with over 60 sheets and data extending through 1000s of lines per sheet.

In this instance, and many others, Excel is being used for business analysis and reporting – the critical analysis on which agency decisions are based.

Smart users of Excel can build in checks that mitigate the risks - sheets can be locked down to prevent users from changing the logic for example - but Excel sheets are dynamic and changes are made regularly to add new clients or provide new analyses.

Every time Excel is changed, the risk of getting the logic or formulae wrong increases.

Excel Spreadsheet

Simplify your business

While agencies are selling the merits of ‘big data’ to their clients, agencies expect that their own data can be sliced and diced to provide business insights.

However, many agencies choose to ask their overworked finance team to provide these insights and the finance guys resort to Excel.

Pegasus’ aim with new clients is to eliminate Excel as far as possible. This isn’t just because of Excel’s inherent weaknesses, but because we strongly believe that the agency management system must be ‘a single source of truth’ within the business.

All the agencies’ business data is already in Pegasus, so it makes sense to use Pegasus to provide the analysis, and the software has been developed to ensure that the analysis is always accurate.

We give access to the different levels of agency staff to have authority to perform analyses of their own. This prevents the finance guys from being bugged by agency staff to produce analyses for them and it empowers the agency staff by giving them access to run reports day or night.

The risks with Excel

For most agency staff, Excel is an anathema.

Apart from the finance guys, Excel is seen by most people as confusing or intimidating.

Many people won’t even open an email attachment in Excel, let alone get excited about the analysis enclosed.

In addition, Excel can be misinterpreted even by proficient Excel users. Too much data is confusing, and the many interlinked sheets and macros make the likelihood of a slip-up almost certain.

Excel users can create charts and graphs that are often misleading. Pie charts and graphs should be used judiciously but are churned out because Excel makes them easy to create.

And of course, as soon as data is downloaded into a spreadsheet it’s out of date. it should be constantly updated as the business data changes.  A saved Excel file isn’t the place to find the latest information.

Excel headaches

Pegasus can wean your agency off Excel

Excel is a very flexible and useful tool but it is fallible.

Pegasus, on the other hand, tailors data to the user so they see just what is relevant to them.

It provides users with not only the latest data, but access to accurate historical data for comparison.

The system provides your agency with a complete finance, production, and media management solution, all in one fully integrated package.

Pegasus allows management to see what’s relevant in real time, helping to make decisions quickly, ensuring the business operates effectively.

If Excel is the basis for your decisions, it’s time for change.

If you would like to know more about Pegasus or request a demonstration of this incredible all-in-one system, then please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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After 7 years at PwC London and Sydney, Mike joined a creative agency which, two years later, was acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi. He remained at Saatchi & Saatchi for the next 25 years, the last 9 as CFO Asia Pacific. Mike was a Pegasus client for 15 years and loved their can-do attitude, and on leaving Saatchi & Saatchi 10 years ago, he became Pegasus’ chairman.

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