Business: example use cases - ClusterSeven

Business

  • Challenge

    Managing critical spreadsheets and EUCs using manual processes is risky and inefficient, and a costly drain on users’ time.

  • Solution

    By managing your spreadsheets you will dramatically reduce time spent gathering audit and compliance data, so you can spend more time on analysis whilst improving the transparency of your spreadsheet data and it’s lineage while improving productivity, without impacting on the way users work.

  • Benefits

    – More effective use of valuable resources
    Less risk, with increased transparency of spreadsheet data
    – Reduced cost of ownership
    – Smarter, faster decision making

Business use cases

Risk assessment

Challenge

If changes to spreadsheets and other EUCs are inefficiently managed, errors may go unnoticed that could expose the organization to risk.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to understand the complexity of critical spreadsheets and make quantitative and qualitative risk assessments.

Benefits

  • Improved ability to remediate errors, eg by amending spreadsheet design
  • More scope to improve governance, eg by implementing stronger controls

Remediation

Challenge

The flexibility of spreadsheets means they’re often used to plug gaps in enterprise applications. But if inefficiently managed and controlled, they can lead to errors and create significant risk.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to risk-assess critical spreadsheets; highlight poor practices; and identify large, highly complex files where there is potential for error.

Benefits

  • Improved ability to remediate errors and increase governance
  • Identification of candidates for core system migration

Productivity

Challenge

As well as being time consuming, manual interrogation of spreadsheets to ensure accuracy is risky: missed errors can lead to financial or reputational damage.

Solution

As well as being time consuming, manual interrogation of spreadsheets to ensure accuracy is risky: missed errors can lead to financial or reputational damage.

Benefits

  • Dramatic cut in cost and effort of spreadsheet analysis
  • Ability to focus on more valuable tasks

Peace of mind

Challenge

The spreadsheets supporting business-critical processes often fall outside formal control, exposing them to errors. Without a detailed change log, changes made to spreadsheets may not accurately reflect business needs.

Solution

ClusterSeven offers peace of mind by providing a comprehensive solution for the management, control, audit and inventory of your spreadsheets.

Benefits

  • Effective review and approval process
  • No impact on users or spreadsheets

Inventory

Challenge

Relying on manual processes makes it difficult to comply with regulatory or audit requirements for maintaining an inventory of spreadsheets and other EUCs.

Solution

ClusterSeven provides comprehensive inventory management capabilities, including identification of complexity and materiality in your EUC estate, integration of stakeholder information from Active Directory, and application of appropriate controls.

Benefits

  • Less likelihood of failed audits and non-compliance
  • Avoidance of associated financial and other losses

Data consolidation

Challenge

If you use multiple spreadsheets to capture data during the data consolidation process, you may struggle to keep the resulting reports current and free from errors if your checking process is manual.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to automate the spreadsheet management process to ensure revisions are captured and approved ahead of report distribution.

Benefits

  • Savings on review time
  • Peace of mind about report accuracy

Data quality

Challenge

Using spreadsheets to move data around can expose your organization to data errors and inaccuracies, which can impact on outputs and reporting.

Solution

ClusterSeven identifies changes to spreadsheets that appear unusual or fall outside normal tolerance ranges; helps you understand data lineage; and provides a control framework around your data.

Benefits

  • Active management of spreadsheets and data quality
  • Reduced organizational exposure to financial and reputational risk

Business continuity

Challenge

Efficient data backups are essential to business continuity. Processes that depend on spreadsheets can be vulnerable if workbooks get changed unexpectedly or become corrupted.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to ensure every version of a key workbook is backed up, so that you can quickly roll back to a previous version if required.

Benefits

  • Ability to restore files and maintain business continuity
  • Improved management of critical spreadsheets

Business change

Challenge

When business-critical processes depend on undocumented and unmanaged spreadsheets, decommissioning those spreadsheets for migration into enterprise IT systems becomes a complex, potentially risky undertaking.

Solution

When business-critical processes depend on undocumented and unmanaged spreadsheets, decommissioning those spreadsheets for migration into enterprise IT systems becomes a complex, potentially risky undertaking.

Benefits

  • Exposure of risk levels and process complexity
  • Ability to identify the data used in processes, ready for migration

Business automation

Challenge

Manually monitoring all the critical, often complex, spreadsheets used within your business processes can be a time-consuming and error-prone task.

Solution

With ClusterSeven you can automate the tracking of structural and content-based changes to spreadsheets, and build workflows for ongoing monitoring — allowing employees to focus on higher-value activities.

Benefits

  • Adoption of best practice in line with regulations
  • Alignment with wider business transformation and automation initiatives

Data lineage

Challenge

If you don’t know what data sources feed into your organization’s business-critical processes, you can’t be confident that the resulting reports and other outputs are accurate.

Solution

Use ClusterSeven to automate analysis of data flows, identify data lineages across the landscape, and track and monitor data usage using change management processes.

Benefits

  • Assured data quality, accuracy and integrity
  • Auditable transparency for internal and external stakeholders

Attestation

Challenge

Proving to regulators and audit committees that your organization has taken the required steps to comply with regulations can be a challenging and intrusive process.

Solution

ClusterSeven logs completed attestation questionnaires with the user’s login and date/time stamp as proof; and sends reminder emails next time an attestation is needed.

Benefits

  • Organizational peace of mind around attestations
  • Minimal interruption to users’ daily routines

Operational efficiency

Challenge

Spreadsheets plug the gaps left by enterprise business systems, but manually checking the accuracy of spreadsheet data is time consuming and open to risk.

Solution

Using ClusterSeven to manage spreadsheets increases productivity, eliminates the risk and inefficiency of manual checking, and assures the accuracy of outputs based on spreadsheet data.

Benefits

  • Increased efficiency through automation
  • A controlled yet flexible spreadsheet environment

GRC

Challenge

Used in an uncontrolled way, spreadsheets can expose the business to risk. Without visibility of these potential risks, you could fail to meet your GRC commitments.

Solution

ClusterSeven automates spreadsheet management, streamlining reporting of potential failings to ensure data accuracy and risk mitigation across the GRC landscape.

Benefits

  • Understanding of spreadsheet risk and how to manage it
  • Ability to meet GRC commitments more easily

Get in touch

Let's talk about how ClusterSeven can increase transparency and control around your spreadsheets and give you confidence in your business critical processes and the accuracy of your data empowering you to make informed business decisions.

Contact Us
  • Organizations need solutions like ClusterSeven for spreadsheet and EUC controls that are usable at all levels of the organization, in addition to supporting the needs of audit, risk, and compliance professionals.

    Michael Rasmussen, GRC Economist & Pundit, GRC 20/20 Research, LLC
  • In ClusterSeven, we have complete visibility of every single spreadsheet from creation through to remediation, with full version history and audit trail.  The solution is inherently robust, scalable and reliable.

    BlackRock

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