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Ideas for Business and Excel

Miscellaneous topics somewhat related to Excel, including information about planning, economics, management, finance, Business Intelligence (BI)...and even business cartoons!

Something Different

Use Excel's Drawing Tools to Create Your Own Cartoons

Excel cartoon

We can't push around numbers all the time with Excel. Sometimes, we just need to goof off. Here are ten cartoons I drew using only Excel.

Management Ideas

Control Your Cost Lag Loop To Help Survive the Recession

 Whatever your company's condition, it's a good idea to take stock of your business to figure out what you can do now to make your company healthy even if business gets worse.

You'll survive the downturn more easily if you master the cost-lag loop.

Finding Errors & Fraud

Use Benford's Law & Charts in Excel to Improve Business Planning

Benford's Law reveals an amazing characteristic of data. Not only does it help to identify fraud, it could help you to improve budgets and forecasts.

Reporting Strategies

Do Your Excel Reports Document Performance? Or Communicate It?

Too many Excel reports document performance rather than reporting it. There’s a huge difference between the two techniques. It helps if you know the difference.

Financial Ratios

How Fast Is Too Fast?

Is your company growing faster than it can afford? Are you continually scrambling to increase your debt-to-equity ratio? Sell stock? Liquidate assets? Or take more drastic measures to finance your growth? Business life doesn't have to be like that. The Sustainable Growth Rate can help you manage your company's financial ability to grow.

Financial Management

Weighing Your Debt Load

Is your company making or losing money on the cash you borrow? These ratios can help to answer that question.

Management Reporting

Drucker's Advice for CEOs Can Bring Spreadsheet Hell

Peter Drucker has made a career of telling CEOs what to do. His recent essay in the Wall Street Journal continues this practice. But his advice can make life difficult for Excel users.

Business Intelligence With Excel

Excel Makes a Great BI!

Excel can be the key component of a powerful and inexpensive Business Intelligence (BI) system.

Excel Data Sources

What Do Users Need from Excel-Friendly Data Sources?

We Excel users can provide better reports, analyses, budgets, and forecasts -- in less time and with less expense -- when we use Excel-friendly data sources. What should those sources be like?

Excel Data Sources

BI Products for Excel

Several software products combine with Excel to create a powerful Business Intelligence system. All of them work for medium and large companies, and one also works for small companies.

Management Techniques

Bain's Management Tools

Bain's list of tools, developed through their annual survey, offers many techniques used to make a business more successful. Many of these can be implemented in Excel.

Business Intelligence With Excel

Metric Madness?

CFO magazine reports that more than 70 percent of balanced-scorecard implementations are failing. One major reason seems to be that managers are drowning in metrics. But is this true? If so, will Excel provide the solution?

Business Intelligence With Excel

What the Heck Is OLAP? When Is It Excel-Friendly?

Excel-friendly OLAP databases give Excel users significant analytical power and flexibility...while reducing the work load.

Business Intelligence With Excel

A Budgeting Mistake?

Critics say Excel is unsuited for budgeting, forecasting, and other activities that involve collaboration or consolidation. Many business magazines and other experts agree. Are they correct?

Management Reporting

Use Excel's Unique Power to Raise Manager Alerts

Excel can analyze and present data from any number of sources in one report. This makes it the ideal program to uncover strategic and operational problems that are invisible to other software.

Excel Data Sources

Five Reasons OLAP Belongs on Excel Users' Desktops

What's the most valuable technology for business users of Excel? It may well be the multi-cube database technology, called OLAP.

Management Techniques

Use Business Tools With Excel to Save Time and Money

Business tools can improve business performance. Rather than spending thousands of dollars to support these tools, you often can use Excel instead.

Excel Data Sources

The Partnership of OLAP and Excel Brings A Cure for Spreadsheet Hell

Late nights? Conflicting spreadsheet databases? Broken links? Manual data entry? Embarrassing errors? Hand-carved reports? Broken macros? Monster spreadsheets? Organized confusion? Last-minute panics? Welcome to Spreadsheet Hell!


Does This Reporting Strategy Make Sense to You?

Help-wanted ads like the one discussed here reveal a clear corporate strategy about business reporting. It's an information strategy that few companies can afford these days.

Free Excel Dashboards

Charley's SwipeFile charts