Main menu


A mesh of technology and human interaction

featured image

It’s Time to End Spreadsheet Culture – Here’s How

Investment banking front offices need a technology partner that offers flexible solutions, not a “one-stop-shop” platform.

Text: Dean McIntyre

Bad technology creates frustration and dissatisfaction in the workplace. Nearly two-thirds of his employees (62%) report that the software they use at work does not perform at their best, and one in eight said software mismatch He said he quit his previous job because of it.

For front office workers, a “spreadsheet culture” (proliferation of manual spreadsheets) is a symptom of a software mismatch. This indicates that the platforms employees are using are not flexible enough to handle all the tasks they need to accomplish, resulting in a lack of spreadsheet management. time spent on is lost.

As employers reassess how and where their employees work, technology solutions must be reassessed to retain talent and stay competitive. Instead of relying on clunky, one-size-fits-all systems and myriad spreadsheets, focus on flexible analytical solutions and open workflows to take your operational processes to the next level.

Intelligent technology streamlines workflows across your organization, eliminates mundane tasks, and fosters collaboration across teams, resulting in measurable improvements in both account performance and work culture.

Spreadsheet culture is a culture of chaos and chaos

A lot of our work can’t be done without spreadsheets, which are always present in the office. They are infinitely customizable and can analyze data to solve ever-evolving work challenges. However, the inherent flexibility of spreadsheets – why we love and trust them – is also their Achilles heel.

Let’s get back to — what created spreadsheet culture in the first place? Financial technology and data companies love touting “one-stop-shop” platforms that can do it all. To be fair, I sign a contract because I want an inexpensive and easy-to-use tool. But after several years of growth, and as that “full service” solution couldn’t keep up, we suddenly found asset managers and portfolio managers drowning in Excel documents. It does most of what you need, but leaves you to fill in the gaps.

Unfortunately, spreadsheets don’t have built-in protections to flag errors, so small mistakes can easily go bloated, especially if you’re building a new spreadsheet based on bad data from an old file. Similarly, in a high-pressure, fast-paced industry like wealth management, human errors such as copy-paste mistakes, typos, and accidentally deleted cells are inevitable, even for a star in his performer. Hmm. Over time, you won’t be able to go back and figure out where things went wrong.

Spreadsheets are also bad for company culture. Most people don’t want to work with spreadsheets all day for the reasons above. Spreadsheet culture kills productivity, limits transparency, and impedes collaboration. Creating and maintaining a spreadsheet is a labor intensive process and everyone has their own way of doing it. As a result, it becomes difficult for team members to open documents and take over as needed, leaving individual contributors and teams siloed.

Break free from spreadsheet culture and build happier, healthier and more productive organizations

With the right tools and processes in place, getting work done can be a motivator rather than a struggle. Change happens when you replace front-office partitioned tech products with his solutions for advanced workflows that reduce your reliance on spreadsheets and allow you to share information seamlessly. The result is a workplace characterized by big-picture decision-making, more time for strategic thinking, and collaboration.

Here are 4 tips to get you there.

  • Hire a tech-oriented COO. The hedge fund and investment world needs to rapidly adopt technology that can support complex trading operations. Stay ahead of the curve by hiring her COO who has the vision to keep up with new technologies and recognize their value. Early implementation of intelligent and adaptable tools increases front office efficiency and collaboration, and builds customer loyalty.
  • Think about your future needs. Whether you’re looking to start a new venture or find yourself getting overwhelmed by your current platform, ask yourself these questions to get started looking for a new data and analytics partner: Where is your company going? What are your goals? Will the technology vendor you’re considering meet your needs in two, three, four years? Do you want to be a true partner to help? The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be stuck on a path that won’t meet your business needs in a few years.
  • Find a technology partner willing to cooperate with you. As we have discussed, technology solutions are not one-size-fits-all. You need a partner who can maintain flexibility while providing a fully auditable service. So prioritize technology partners who invest in APIs and interoperability. A truly scalable solution can integrate with other data providers so you can build a customized solution that provides a complete picture of your unique assets.
  • Prioritize automation and personalization. Automating multi-asset trading eliminates many tedious processes (and associated spreadsheets), freeing up time for collaboration and more challenging technical and analytical work. The most advanced systems can make personalized deal recommendations, similar to how Netflix offers movie suggestions based on your viewing history. This type of advanced technology can give you an edge over your competitors while improving results and efficiency, removing tedious tasks from your front office to-do list.
Intelligent technology drives team success

We all know that technology platforms influence team culture and work performance. That’s why it’s important to future-proof your organization with flexible, modern deal lifecycle workflows so you don’t fall into the trap of spreadsheet culture.

Ultimately, technologies that support open workflows, interoperability, and automation can make companies more productive and profitable, freeing front-office teams to do more strategic, fulfilling work.