Making Life Easier for End Users

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The day-to-day use of critical EUC (End User Computing) or UDA (User Developed Applications) is typically a mixture of routine, time-consuming data updates with less regular, but more demanding, structural modifications. Switching between these modes of behavior increases the risk of mistakes. Eliminating or accelerating the routine tasks puts hours back in the hands of users, allowing them to focus on the more difficult operations. This reduces the causes of mistakes and leaves more time for value-adding activities.

ClusterSeven brings efficiency at three levels. Firstly, our change management workflow solves the need for control at an enterprise level without introducing unnecessary overhead. Secondly, our data-warehouse eliminates key manual data tasks, such as reconciliations and validation. Thirdly, we put standalone benefits in the hands of the desktop user. For example:

File Retrieval

The recovery of older versions of EUCs/UDAs can be extremely time-consuming. It often needs IT support with delays of hours or even days for the required file to be restored. Alternatively users may overwrite the current file leaving no viable recovery option. ClusterSeven solves these problems, allowing a simple ‘select and retrieve’ operation from a diary timeline of all previous versions.

Comparing Spreadsheets

In normal operation ClusterSeven automatically analyzes user activity between sequential file versions or across pre determined time intervals to meet audit and integrity demands. However, users may want to compare spreadsheets between two or more versions to meet different objectives – for example a desire to track business trends over 12 successive month end reports. With ClusterSeven the user simply drags and drops files from the ClusterSeven timeline or any other browsable location to create their own time sequence.

Why Did This Value Change?

Sometimes it is not good enough just to know that a cell value has changed; users want to understand why that value has changed. Using a unique piece of functionality called cell precedent causes, ClusterSeven lets you drill down all the precedents in a formula to see which inputs have had the most impact on the cell change. Analysis that would have taken hours can now be done in minutes.

“If someone looks at a spreadsheet and is unsure what has led to certain changes being made, they can easily drill down to see all the interconnecting spreadsheets and identify who has done what.”

George Flynn, business analyst of product control, European Credit Management (ClusterSeven client)

“Once end users began working with the application, the insight and control over the spreadsheet environment made users realize that they wanted and needed this control.”

IDC Case Study

“We wanted to manage spreadsheets. Not stop their usage, but facilitate it in a controlled manner.”

Don Simpson, MD of Operations and Technnology, MUSI (ClusterSeven client)