Most Canadian Businesses Still Using Spreadsheets as Primary Source of Analytics

The vast majority of Canadian organizations still rely on spreadsheets as their primary tool of business analytics, which may be leaving them at a competitive disadvantage, according to a new study by the Canadian Financial Executives Research Foundation, the research foundation of FEI Canada.

79% of executives feel their current financial reporting and analytics tools only somewhat meet their business’s needs and 65% of businesses do not use or have no access to real-time reporting tools. Only 4% of executives consider themselves industry leaders in financial reporting while just 29% have plans to invest in financial reporting and analytics infrastructure this year, according to the report.

“Reliance on spreadsheets is symptomatic of broken systems, characterized by off line processes, redundant data, and wasted human effort in data entry and reconciliations,” said Arthur Gitajn, CFO, SAP Canada, which sponsored the study. “Today, when terabytes of data can be analyzed in seconds and accessed in real time on tablets and smartphones, it makes little sense to rely on static spreadsheets as analytical tools.”

“This continued dependence on spreadsheets today may be indicative of a lack of resources holding CFOs back from fully developing their data analytics capabilities,” said Michael Conway, President and CEO, FEI Canada. “Demands on businesses are extensive and growing, and real-time analytics can help with tasks such as forecasting performance, market research, profit margin analysis, risk assessment and management, operations and product pricing.”