Beyond Excel: Toolset of the World Class FP&A

By Khaled Chowdhury

The tools have changed, but the job to be done remains the same

People still listen to music, but the tools have changed from Gramophone to Cassette player to Walkman to iPod to smartphones.

In our world of Finance & Accounting, we provide value by extracting insight and foresight from data. Our tools have changed over time (eg, Abacus, Calculators) to primarily Excel in today’s world.

Excel can do it all…or not?

I won’t get into this debate, but I’ll state that Excel is not going anywhere at least not in the near future, simply because:

  1. Excel is still the king because it’s a Swiss Army knife, nothing can do so many different things and so well still to this day.
  2. No other tool has the flexibility and efficacy of Excel.

You can find more passionate debate by @Lance and @Christopher at- Is Excel Dead?

My humble opinion, Excel is not dead, not even close, but…..

In today’s world, Excel is not Enough!

It’s not a question of Excel or …
Rather, it’s about Excel and …

Why? Quite simply, the feelings can be summarized by trying to cut a giant Oak tree with a swiss army knife. Could be worse if you haven’t noticed new things Excel is packing under the hood these days.

Did you know that up till 2013 we had 4.4 Zettabytes of data, however by 2020 we are going to have 44 Zettabytes?[1] By the way do you know what a Zettabyte is? It’s only One Trillion Gigabyte. Simply the volume and variety can’t be handled with Excel alone. For short to mid-term, Excel will still be the king of ad-hoc analysis, but you will need faster, stronger tools for different stages of the data life cycle.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn and is republished with permission.

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