We were contacted by a leading UK bank who was experiencing a critical infrastructure failure on a large-scale remediation project. The bank was in danger of missing targets mandated by the FCA putting it at risk of large fines, as well as severe negative financial and reputational implications.
The problem was their spreadsheet use. They had sixty concurrent users sharing 40 spreadsheets with 80,000 rows and 250 columns – as you can imagine, this was pretty chaotic. The system performance was unusably slow and there were data integrity and accuracy issues. Users were working with out of date data without even realising – versioning troubles meant that current records were overwritten with stale data. Performance and stability issues resulted in significant downtime – impacting productivity and confidence in the infrastructure still further.
For a bank, data quality is obviously of utmost importance, even more so than for our other customers. They needed a solution, fast. This made industrialising their existing spreadsheets the best option.
We built them a proof of concept in two weeks, along with enterprise-level databases to control and secure the data, hosted internally on an SQL server. We were able to reconfigure their existing spreadsheets to connect to the database. This meant that their workflow didn’t really have to change, we simply streamlined it. We integrated our solution with their internal processes, multiple legacy data systems and specialised third party software. Most importantly, we ensured everything was backed up, auditable and secure.
Training was negligible as the bank’s employees were already highly spreadsheet literate and our interface looks like traditional Excel. This meant that we could very rapidly move from inception to successful use across the programme.
Our solution is easily customised and highly configurable. This means that we could meet the needs of their programme as they constantly evolved –particularly useful in such a project as this where objectives were being set externally by the regulatory body.
Within four weeks, the programme was able to scale up to meet its FCA commitments. Their data was backed up and auditable and most importantly, all users were finally seeing one version of the truth which eradicated the versioning issues they were struggling with.
Productivity improvements immediately became apparent. FCA reporting effort and time expenditure was reduced by 75%. Most importantly, the bank avoided the imminent fines that had been looming in their near future by catching up and achieving their objectives.
If you’re struggling with business processes such as these that fall outside of your enterprise software, spreadsheet related or otherwise, we can help. Get in touch here.
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