Why use Info-CTRL?
Info-CTRL revolutionises the use of data within organisations, improving security, flexibility and productivity.
Info-CTRL solutions are tailored to a range of business sectors: Retail, Finance, Logistics and Manufacturing. They combine the flexibility and ease of use of spreadsheets for the user with data governance for the company.
Excel is widely used by people in all areas of business as an operational productivity and reporting tool. However, the unstructured nature of spreadsheets makes relying on their output a corporate risk.
Consistency of data
People do not like entering existing data, so where possible they download it from a trusted source such as their organisation's finance, ERP, practice management, retail or logistics systems. They then manipulate that data in Excel or automate processes, adding new elements for their particular purpose. Multiple users can download data from the same trusted data source and carry out their own such processes. The many resulting spreadsheets are then used for decision-making. So one trusted data source has potentially fed the outputs and the decisions of many users, introducing two potential risks; (a) the end-users' spreadsheets may not be consistent, and (b) one or more of the end-users' spreadsheets may no longer be consistent with the trusted data source.
This problem is not solved by implementation of corporate systems such as SAP, Oracle EBS or bespoke planning systems. If anything it is aggravated, because these systems impose a discipline at the corporate level which only encourages users to find a way around the system to accommodate their own personal way of working. Many organisations have tried unsuccessfully to limit or eradicate the use of spreadsheets and have painfully discovered that this is not the answer. What is needed is an approach which combines the flexibility and ease of use of Excel for the user and data governance for the company: In a nutshell, the best of both worlds. This is exactly what Info-CTRL does.
For businesses without a corporate system or central database, Info-CTRL enables the creation of a single trusted data source in a secure environment.
Validation, Verification and Version Control
The cloud-based Info-CTRL database sits between the trusted data source and end users' spreadsheets. Multiple end-users still download multiple times from the trusted data source, and still do whatever they wish with the data in Excel. But instead of their spreadsheets sitting in splendid isolation – potentially now inconsistent with each other, and potentially inconsistent with the trusted data source – Info-CTRL consolidates the two-dimensional spreadsheets into its own three-dimensional database and validates the end-users' spreadsheets against each other and against the trusted data source. End-users' spreadsheets thus become a consistent and reliable source of information for decision-making, bringing Excel spreadsheets – currently 'outside the tent' of trusted data sources for decision-making – inside the tent.
What does this mean to the organisation?
- Reduced risk
- Better data governance
- Time saved across all business processes
- Safe and flexible use of spreadsheets – no disruption to working styles
- Critical data is held securely, not emailed from person to person
- Version control is effective and easy to manage
- Increased accuracy / fewer errors
- Improved financial management
- Faster decision making
- More secure mobile working
- High user acceptance and minimal training required