Why the National Trust use CALUMO for Reporting, Budgeting and Forecasting

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Will Holmes À Court, CEO of National Trust of Australia (NSW), a not for profit (or loss) organisation presented how they use CALUMO for Business Intelligence at the last Club CALUMO User Group.

Will showed the group many reports consolidating data from various underlying systems as well as budget & forecast templates he and his finance team created for data acquisition from the field. The reports and input templates are all built in Excel but have the security and integrity of a SQL Server data warehouse backing them up. This means, Will and his team didn't need to spend days learning skills to do Business Intelligence, they do their job instead. CALUMO neatly integrates with Excel so Excel can be used as it always has been but when CALUMO and CALUMO's Excel functions are used, CALUMO makes Excel a powerful reporting and planning application when coupled with the muscle and security of SQL Server and SQL Server Analysis Services. 

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So why did National Trust decide to use CALUMO?  What more can CALUMO give users that native Excel and SQL Server and SQL Server Analysis Services doesn't?  Firstly, CALUMO offers an intuitive web based ad hoc cube viewer (no Excel required) which is very easy to use.  Once you have created a view of data you like, you can convert that to an Excel spread sheet.  That spread sheet has formula similar to the convert to formula functions but with useful functionality like:

  • Extremely cost effective Business Intelligence
  • Low up skill cost with sophisticated Business Intelligence that is simple and easy to use
  • Apply organisational standard formatting
  • Drill down (or up) on hierarchies on rows or columns (the spread sheet dynamically changes)
  • Drill to transactions to any database, spread sheet or file
  • Fastest write back to SQL Server Analysis services cubes with calculations sophisticated calculations
  • One click publish to web pages (no programmers and no programming required)
  • Integration with Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint
  • the list goes on.

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More about Will and National Trust.  With CALUMO, Excel, Web Browsers and SQL Server Analysis servers, Will is able to capture budgets and deliver reports in seconds.  With CALUMO, creating new and modifying existing reports and input templates takes minutes, not hours or days.

National Trust needs to get budget data from sites across Australia.  If you know Australia you know the internet isn't always reliable out bush” so off line budgeting is a must.  CALUMO helps National Trust get their budget information collected effortlessly, well nearly. 

Input templates are sent to non-system people, people who have better things to do than fiddle with web pages.  These templates reside in Excel and are sent to the contributors via email. These people enter budgets in Excel spread sheets, then email them back for automatic upload into SQL Server Analysis Services using CALUMO.

The data is stored centrally, managed centrally, easily accessible and is National Trust's one version of the truth.

Here is a list of financial and non-financial systems the National Trust either have in CALUMO today (by the time you read this) or are on the way for reporting, budgeting and forecasting:

  • General Ledger
  • Payroll sub-ledger
  • Membership
  • Business development
  • Pipeline & revenue forecasting
  • Project ledger/grants
  • Time management
  • Expense management
  • Merchandising
  • Visitation

Below are some samples of the menus, reports and input templates National Trust use today.

For a copy of the slides from the night or more information about how CALUMO helped National Trust, please post a comment or email me at wleitch@calumo.com.

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