It’s the end of the quarter, and you’re looking to put together your quarterly presentation for the board. You’ve run the data, the numbers look good, and you’ve done your qualitative analysis. There’s only one thing left to do – update the PowerPoint. With 40 slides worth of numbers, charts, and commentary to update, this is actually easier said than done, and will require countless hours of work. So you think to yourself, is there a better way to do this?
IBM’s Cognos Disclosure Management (CDM) is a tool that solves this problem. It allows for users to output PowerPoints, Word documents, PDF documents, and Web documents that can be updated dynamically to reflect the latest set of data. Doing so will ultimately lead to more time spent analyzing output instead of performing the tedious task of manual updates.
With CDM, numbers, visualizations, and even text can be configured to update automatically upon underlying data changes. A typical setup may look something like the following:
The ##GD<> and ##D<> syntax represent variables that have been defined by the user. Their actual values are stored in Excel datasheets and tied to data brought in from an external datasource by CDM. Standard Excel logic and formulas apply when determining how to compute the values of these variables. This makes CDM very familiar and easy to work with. The characters in red are Webdings characters, which is a feature supported in the newest version of CDM, and easily allow for the creation of dynamic symbols (i.e. up/down arrows). The charts displayed are also tied to the underlying dataset.
Upon resolving the variables and generating the actual output, the power of CDM is realized:
The variables have now rendered into meaningful words, numbers, and symbols, and output into a standard PowerPoint ready to display. All with just a few clicks!
Having this type of capability takes the hassle out of a number of different scenarios:
- Updating reports/presentations when rolling from one period to the next
- Updating reports/presentations when a data change or correction is made
- Preparing regulatory documents such as a 10-K
- And more!
Throught the use of this tool, tremendous time savings are achieved, leading to more time spent analyzing output rather than preparing it. This will give any organization a leg up on the competition!