Move your business from a stack of Excels to integrated web applications that you can maintain and deploy online. Although Excel is useful, using spreadsheets as the core of your business creates errors, there is a risk of incomplete calculations, it is insecure, and out of date  data is rife, and data cannot easily be processed. The impact for your business are costly mistakes, large delays, and fragmented business processes. Troubles are unavoidable. 

With the Concordia Legal Application Modeller (CLAM), you replace Excel with integrated web applications that are configured online. Clear, concise, and effective web applications are the result. With CLAM, full data entry and calculated output  is securely stored and is ensured. Standard, all applications also produce pdfs for archiving and audit trails. The reports contain the raw data and the details of the outcomes and calculations relevant in case of contention.

After initial delivery, the solution lends itself to seamless integration into existing dashboards, applications, and data lakes to move to efficient knowledge and process automation. You profit from elegant web applications that you centrally maintain that replace the much needed, but unwieldy Excel.

Here an example of a configured Customer Due Diligence application. A complex, long list of questions grouped in Excel tabs is turned into a simple web application where each screen offers the right questions and dropdowns. The end result is processed customer with a known status and audit trail available as pdf. With CLAM, your business can move from Excel to integrated online applications.

Issues with using Excel to run your business

Excel is a powerful tool and is widely used. And with good reason, as the functionality and calculations offered by Excel (spreadsheets in general) are very useful as we all know. But, research (https://neo4j.com/blog/spreadsheets-are-graphs-too/) into the management of a large bank found for example more than 2.5 million copies of spreadsheets in existence for a company of 1,500 employees.This creates the kind of chaotic and fragmented data environment where mistakes are unavoidable. 

With Excel, you can nearly build anything but there are several key issues:

  • Volume: spreadsheets were not designed to handle the volume and complexity of data that’s generated in today’s digitally connected world. The volume of data does not scale and it should sit in a database for correct processing.
  • Data analysis is fundamental to a company’s decision making. To analyze data from several sectors is complicated if the data is far away in Excel.
  • Human errors; forgetting to fill in fields, wrong types of data, not maintained lists of options, all kinds of data checks, and mathematical functions can be altered (by mistake).
  • Version management: With multiple duplicates existing across a company to keep up with evolving use cases, it’s a constant struggle to identify the most accurate and up-to-date dataset. Whenever updates are made, it creates a flood of legacy docs that remains lurking in the system. 
  • Slow: Spreadsheets need data to be manually inputted into each cell. It’s a process that takes up employee time and resources. 
  • Knowledge and information management: There is always one person responsible for collecting the data and updating the spreadsheets: the macro guy. 
  • Security: Even though there are data protection mechanisms in Excel, copying a spreadsheet and inserting it in a flash drive is not one of the most complex tasks in the world today and imposes a structural risk on an organisation. 

The CLAM Offering

Each client receives a dedicated CLAM Console where the business analyst can configure and deploy their applications online. The configuration will be adapted by Concordia Legal to their specific domain and needs; look and feel and support for the type and number of desired applications.

Here is a small example including the CDD example that covers geographical risk and for defining the questions for the application and their type. These can be, for example, country, product, or of generic type where the answer options are defined specifically. Each client will configure their own set of custom applications that meets their needs.

After initial delivery the client can start running their own applications and phase out their Excels. The database stores the models for the business to configure, and it stores the data input and output of the applications along with a pdf audit trail. On top of these services, the client can incorporate CLAM  into existing IT such as a CRM and process support. 

Resolving Excel challenges

CLAM solves the Spreadsheet (Excel) issues:

  • Bigger Volume: Integration (REST) with a database that stores all models, and data from the generated applications for processing.
  • Data analysis available: All data from the run applications is stored real-time in the database and available for processing.
  • Reduced human errors: Only selected users can alter the configuration of an application. The application itself will only allow for valid and complete data entry.
  • Easy Version management: The application models are stored and versioned centrally so that is also clear what data originates with what (version of the) model.
  • Fast: web applications are much faster to use than  large Excels. The application validates the data and completeness of the process.
  • Knowledge and information management: The business models and knowledge are centralized in the model repository where the configuration of the applications is explicit and not hidden in tabs and formulas of the spreadsheet. Each model in the CLAM repository captures the configuration of a part of the business operations.
  • Complete Security: As an Intelligent Advisor (IA) application, security for the use, configuration, and application integration is state of the art.
  • All of this is scalable in the cloud. 

Standard, CLAM creates an audit trail, a written copy of the configuration, user data and calculations, tailored to business needs and regulatory standards. The (REST) web services available for the application also allows for bulk processing of client data and full integration into the IT landscape. The backlog of client data can for example be processed. These types of applications are a big step for a client initially moving to CLAM, but think big and we will help you get there.

Concordia Legal is committed to helping their clients walk a smooth road. As tailored services, we train the users and business analysts to get their applications right. The initial delivery will require close work with the client to get the models, user interactions, and hookup into their IT landscape. 

The Sweet Spot of CLAM

We will gladly help you in arriving at a total working solution that helps run your business. Our service is replacing Excels with a maintainable and configurable web application. But this is not always a valid approach.

The solution out of the box supports many types of questions, answer options, calculations. This is sufficient for many customers. We will extend the possibilities of CLAM  to help meet our customer needs. For example, domain specific selections in dropdown lists representing location possibilities, types of products, deficiency lists, graphic representations of models on a quotation basis.  

CLAM has its limits though. It is not meant to attempt to build a complete ERP system, as an extreme example. A good rule of thumb is that if you could reasonably still squeeze the problem into a working Excel and you need to do it often, then you can then sensibly replace it. We build our applications with Intelligent Advisor (IA), formerly known as OPA, so we can deliver very advanced products. But there is a sensible limit and we are happy to advise whether CLAM would be a good fit, or a more dedicated IA application would be a better fit.

Move your business from a stack of Excels to integrated web applications that you can maintain and deploy online. Although Excels have their very warranted use, Excels at the core of a business are rife with errors, incomplete, insecure, out of date, and gathering all the data for central processing for overview is difficult. The impact on business are costly mistakes, large delays, and a chaotic and fragmented running of the business is unavoidable. With the Concordia Legal Application Modeller (CLAM), integrated web applications are configured online and deployed to replace Excel’s. Data entry and calculated output  is securely stored and data entry is ensured to be completed. Standard, all applications also store their outcomes as pdf for archiving. The solution lends itself to seamless integration into existing dashboards, applications, and data lakes to move your business away from Excel to efficient process automation.

    Please get in touch for a demonstration or if you have questions. If we have a connection we can implement a first prototype of your own Excel. We can then quickly give you a quote and timeline for you to start using your new application to put you in control.