Robert Kugel's Analyst Perspectives

Make Spreadsheet Competence a Priority

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 13, 2012 11:52:35 AM

I’ve written frequently on issues that confront desktop spreadsheet users, such as business modeling and capital investment, as well as the risk and control issues spreadsheets pose and their contribution to paralysis by analysis. I focus mainly on the technology aspects of organizational challenges, and I usually recommend replacing stand-alone desktop spreadsheets with more appropriate tools. Yet there are many instances where spreadsheets work well, and in other cases people continue to use them when they shouldn’t. For these reasons, executives and managers must pay attention to spreadsheet training. Many people who use spreadsheets have overblown estimations of their own competence, often those who use them all the time and have years of experience. With these and other tools, unless people are tested and trained on a recurring basis, one can never be sure how well they perform. The consequences of poorly trained spreadsheet users can be significant, both in terms of their impact on direct productivity and in relating to the capabilities of the spreadsheet files they construct and the potential for errors in poorly crafted ones.

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Topics: GRC, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Business Intelligence (BI), Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, finance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Training, spreadsheet