It doesn’t have to be complicated to save an hour a day

It doesn’t have to be complicated to save an hour a day.

That’s almost 3 full days each and every month) with a simple Excel solution.

At one client, an investment bank, financial analysts would look up details regarding investment bonds from an intranet site. They would enter the bond’s code (an ISIN) and then copy-and-paste the details they needed back to their spreadsheet.


If they needs 20 fields for that bond, they would ALT+TAB back-and-forth 20 times, copying-and-pasting each field between the web page and Excel.

If they needed 20 fields for 20 bonds . . . well I think you’re beginning to get the idea.

Many people whose job it is to analyse data, actually spend most of their time struggling to get that data in a state that is suitable to analyse.

And much of that “sourcing” is just tedious, time consuming, error prone copying-and-pasting.

The solution was to add a feature to the Excel add-in that I had already developed for them.

This displayed a simple screen where the analysts could enter or select which bonds they were interested in.

They could select which fields they wanted and could even create “favourites” lists of fields they wanted to retrieve regularly.

The whole process to dump all the bonds and fields they wanted took a couple of seconds,

One analyst confided that this tools comfortably saved him an hour a day. At least.

That’s almost 3 whole days a month. Every month.

Multiply that by 5 analysts and the savings starts to add up (and their frustration start to go down).

Not a bad return for a days’ work.

Nota Bene: To respect client confidentiality, identifiers including client logos and names have been removed from all screenshots and descriptions.

What simple solutions in Excel have saved your or your team a ton of time?


Marcus has been an Excel & VBA developer for over 20 years working in the trenches in Investment Banks and Assets Managers, previously in Melbourne and now in London.

  • Christopher says:

    You do very nice work Marcus.

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