Case Studies




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge:  Systems migration


Dear, we are a strategic risk program, and we have many risk management systems. We'd like to consolidate these into one, so that senior management only need go to one place for risk.  Now that Excel has 1 million rows, analysing entire trade databases is now possible, and combine that with highly targeted pivot tables, we can analyse large amounts of trades, and investigate / explain the differences in present value.




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge:  Maximise E-Trading Revenue


Dear, we are a trading desk with electronic global trading capacity, and we would like to improve our E-profit  Here are 30 highly customised reports that you can use to make informed decisions about how to improve your profit.

Large Investment Bank: We have acted based on the information provided and not only do we think that the level of profit has increased, but the consistency of the profit has also improved.  We will now work with your core IT department to make the production of these reports faster / more scalable and on a strategic platform. 



The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge:  Reduce Impact On Market Data Servers


Dear, we are a market data team, and we’re constantly having to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to increase the capacity of our market data servers. We’d like you to look at our trader’s spreadsheets and improve the efficiency of the formulae and workbook structure. HELP!  Letting traders design live pricing spreadsheets is a recipe for disaster. A few simple fixes were implemented that will reduce the demand from heavy spreadsheets up to a factor of 10,000. I.e. instead of making potentially 10,000 requests for data on a single day, they will request the data once.

Market Data:  Thanks to your fine tuning, the overall demand for our data is down an incredible 82% month on month. Our trader spreadsheets now calculate way faster and there is no loss of functionality.




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge: Remove Manual Trade Entry


Dear, we are a trade support function, and we spend hours manually calculating and typing in trades that arrive from our client. Manual typing in of numbers from one system to another should not happen in 2011! Here’s a system that takes your client’s desired trades, nets them, allows you to price the resulting notional, allows you to enter the prices, and creates a file that is sent to a downstream system for automatic allocation and booking

Trade Support Function: This is brilliant! It has freed up at least 250 hours a year for our team and we are free to concentrate on value adding activities. We also know now that there will be no risk of typing errors, and we have a completely transparent process. We no longer fight over who has to do this awful task.




The Client:  Infrastructure Installation Company

The Challenge: Quote Tracking System


Dear, we are an Infrastructure Installation Company and every day we make quotes for our clients on various jobs. We track these quotes in hundreds of different spreadsheets, and we have no clue how much of the job has been done, how much of our invoices have been paid, how much revenue we’re generating, or what’s the next step to complete on each job. HELP! Here’s a single Excel file that allows you to create quotes efficiently, saves and shares the data with your team, creates an event report so you know exactly which of the thousands of tasks the company is focussing on each day, can calculate your revenue weekly, monthly, yearly, sends quotes, and invoices, and tracks the remaining invoice amounts.

Infrastructure Installation Company: Thanks We’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but you’ve overcome all the issues. This system is now running the quoting and invoicing for the company.




The Client:  Insurance and Investment Advisory

The Challenge: Employee Benefits Tracking


Dear, we are an Insurance and Investment Advisory firm, and we’re having huge difficulty in tracking the benefits of all our employees. We currently create an Excel worksheet for each employee, but when the layout changes or if we have a new benefit, it is almost impossible to make that change on the hundreds of worksheets. We’re making huge mistakes and this process is taking far too much of our time. We desperately need your help! Here’s a single Excel file that stores all your information in a database, and allows you to bring up employee information into a single template. You can search by name, cycle through, and easily print the forms.

Insurance and Investment Advisory Firm: When Jody saw the system, she was so excited, she squealed.




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge: Transaction Cost Analysis


Dear we are a sales team, and we'd like to analyse the transaction costs our potential clients are being charged through our competitors.  Here’s an industry-leading system that interprets any portfolio of trades, compares the client’s execution vs a respected benchmark, saves the results, allows you to pivot off them and creates 20 customised reports that you can use for your presentation.

Large Investment Bank:  Thanks to this system, we have found that many of our potential clients are getting uncompetitive prices from their existing providers. We will give them far better prices and save them significant amounts of money.




The Client:  Plastics Manufacturer

The Challenge: CRM System


Dear, we are a large Plastics Manufacturer with an aggressive sales team, and we’d like a system that allows us to accurately value our pipeline projects. We have a system that we’ve already developed, and we’d like you to take it forward.  Here’s an Excel system that takes your sales reps step by step through the sales process at each point assessing the probability of gaining the order. You can now see how much business you are winning, the value of it, and the next steps in your process.

Plastics Manufacturer: Thanks, we’re very proud of our system. We have been able to accurately value the company and have sold it. Our directors are delighted. We originally came to you because we wanted a quick solution and were preparing to move to a big company like SalesForce, but we are now sticking with our current Excel based system. It does everything we need.




The Client:  Snacks Vendor

The Challenge: Pictorial Representation Of Vending Machine


Dear, we are a snack vendor, and every month we spend a huge amount of time creating a representation of our vending machines in Excel. We need help automating this process ! Here’s a system that creates all your vending machine representations on demand based on pictures pre-stored in the file system.

Snacks Vendor: Thanks! We no longer have an enormous Excel file that we need to save because everything is now created on demand, and in code. We’ve saved a huge amount of time. Goodbye 100 meg spreadsheets that take 5 minutes to open!




The Client:  Asset Manager

The Challenge: Share Trading System

Dear, we are an Asset Manager and we’d like you to write a share trading system for us. We need to be able to load trades and market data from files and to store the trades, analyse pnl, cash balances and chart share prices weekly, monthly and yearly. Here’s an Excel-based system that does all of that.

Asset Manager: Thanks, now we can build our business. We looked at a number of vendors but decided that the advantage of writing our system in Excel is that we can have it look how we want, and we have no long term license fees to pay.




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge: Latency Analysis

Dear we are an ecommerce team, and we make live prices for clients to trade on. If there is a large turnaround time between sending requests and receiving answers, we may lose money, so we need to accurately monitor latency. Here’s an Excel system that downloads data from your database, collates it, and displays it in a way that allows you to accurately monitor latency with a view to investigating problems.

Ecommerce Team:  This is really useful We love the ability to compare the latency vs an ideal day. This is much more powerful than looking at the raw numbers.




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge:  System Release Auto-Testing

Dear, we are an IT team that delivers a pricing and trading tool to the front office. We’d like a way to automatically test new releases of our software to ensure that we have not broken existing functionality when we do a new release. Here’s a testing suite that publishes test input prices to your system, then listens to the output, imports the results, and compares the new results with known results, noting any differences.

IT team:  Brilliant, now we can quickly test our changes to see if anything has broken, or sign off that the differences are as expected.




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge:  Client Profiling


Dear, we are a trading desk and would like to look at the profitability of our clients’ trades over time. Here’s an Excel system that downloads your clients’ trades, and runs historical analysis to see how much profit each trade makes at trade time and at various time intervals after.

Trading Desk: Excellent, we now know who are good clients and who are not. Thanks!




The Client:  Large Investment Bank

The Challenge:  Database Comparison


Dear, we are an IT team and have inherited a system that exists in 4 locations. Our problem is that is seems to have been developed differently in each of those locations, and we’d like to bring them all back together. HELP! Here’s an Excel system that brings in the database schema, and compares the procedures run on each database. It lists what’s common, and what’s missing.

IT Team: We are astounded that this can be done so quickly in Excel. Our process is now automated so we can rerun it on demand. Thanks !