Most financial models change over time as new products and services are introduced, market conditions evolve, regulations change, and new data becomes available. Businesses find themselves updating their spreadsheet models periodically to adopt those changes. But what happens to the data stored in various databases produced from or tied to those models? Again, businesses must update those databases to make informed decisions based on the most up-to-date information available.
Since many businesses use SpreadsheetWeb to convert their financial models into web applications, they store their data in SpreadsheetWeb's database. We have developed a new capability called "Run Feature" to allow users to run an updated spreadsheet model against their database with a single click. Today's article will discuss the Run feature and how SpreadsheetWeb Hub users can use it.
SpreadsheetWeb allows its users to update the underlying Excel workbooks of their applications within minutes. Thus, every user can use the most up-to-date version of applications and calculations at any time. However, after updating the applications, the data saved to the application database remains, and the updated values are applied to the newly created records. Therefore, when a user needed to update the already saved data according to the new workbook, it was a process that had to be handled manually.
The Run feature is designed to allow our users to batch-execute calculations on existing data records, which can be a significant benefit when testing new versions of your workbooks or performing periodic refreshes.
To use this feature, you need to have multiple workbook versions and records saved to the application database.
What are some of the practical use cases of Run feature?
For example, you have a sales quoting application running a pricing spreadsheet that includes product data, cost factors, discount and tax rates and a ton of formulas. You need to update some of that data and factors and want to know how it will affect your revenues against your current customer data. You can update your spreadsheet, upload it to your SpreadsheetWeb account and use the Run feature to execute the model against every customer data in your database. In a few minutes, you will know your total revenue with the new pricing model.
You can extend this to run what-if scenarios. You can change your pricing model and run it against your database to find optimal pricing options to maximize your revenues.
Another common use case is to run Monte Carlo simulations against your financial models. While there are many Add-ins to run Monte Carlo simulations in Excel, it can take a very long time to run them due to the limited capacity of desktop computers. Running them in high-performance servers with dozens of CPUs will substantially improve the performance. The Run feature can also be used in this scenario.
But what if you want to update the data using an older workbook version? Or if someone used the Run feature by mistake and you need to restore the data? The Run feature not only helps to keep the data up to date but also to recreate the records according to the older calculation logic if necessary.
The run feature comes fully integrated with SpreadsheetWeb's notification system. When a Run process is started and completed, you will receive notifications about who began the Run for which workspace and for which application. Also, after updating the records, you can see each record's reference related to the Run in History feature. The run feature is also part of SpreadsheetWeb's authorization model. You can control which users and user groups can access this feature.
With SpreadsheetWeb Hub's new Run feature, our users can batch-execute calculations on existing data records to test new versions of workbooks or keep existing records up to date. Thus, the data update process can be handled quickly, easily, and securely with a few clicks while eliminating the manual work.