This week we announced the launch of Sumwise RUM – Really Useful Models that are pre-built and ready to use. With RUM we are taking spreadsheet templates to a whole new level!
Introduction to Sumwise RUM
Imagine you have an idea for a new business, and you’re at the stage where you want to build a cash flow forecast to model its economics. What do you do? One option is to start your own spreadsheet from scratch and battle with the usual problems of writing formulas, copying and pasting, linked worksheets and the like. Not to mention trying to get your balance sheet to balance!
Alternatively, you could search the web for an Excel (or Google Docs) template that matches your business type. But, now you’re dealing with a whole wasteland of dubious quality spreadsheet templates. And even if you find something acceptable, you’ll want to make changes such as inserting some new rows. But, are you confident enough to know which formulas need copying and pasting? And how will you know if the spreadsheet is still working properly?
This is where Sumwise RUMs (or Really Useful Models) can help. Think of these as spreadsheet templates on steroids. Because Sumwise is more structured and more understandable than traditional spreadsheets, and because it deals well with model modifications and extensions, Sumwise is able to solve the problems associated with spreadsheet templates.
To get the (rum) ball rolling, we’ve put a few templates on our website:
- Small business financial forecast
- Startup cap table
- Mortgage calculator
- Personal or household budget
- Discounted cash flow valuation
We plan to add to this list of Really Useful Models on a regular basis, and we hope to recruit other spreadsheet modelers to come and build their own RUMs and make these available for use on our website. We can picture a future with thousands of pre-built useful models solving all sorts of problems for all types of industries.
What Makes Sumwise RUMs Better Than Normal Spreadsheet Templates?
Spreadsheet templates are generally of low quality, have little or no documentation, and are hard to modify and adapt to your circumstances. In contrast, Sumwise RUMs are well-structured, locked down and protected where they need to be, but easy to modify and extend to suit your specific needs.
Not only is Sumwise a better tool for building spreadsheet models, but its also great at publishing these models to the web and allowing quick and easy interaction via any modern web browser. Sumwise models are inherently more structured than ordinary spreadsheets like Excel. When you add a row or column to a Sumwise spreadsheet, the new cells that are created with automatically get the correct formulas and formatting. No copying and pasting, or checking and worrying is required. Sumwise models adapt and extend with ease.
Sumwise’s innovative use of tags and cell groups makes all of this possible. Cell groups are designed to let multiple cells that fit a logical definition (e.g. all Forecast columns and all rows under Revenue) share a common formula and formatting. Any new cells that fall within this definition will automatically inherit the properties of this group. Likewise clicking the tag for a particular forecast column and changing this to Actual will cause all the cells in this column to get take on the properties of other cells defined as actuals.
A Video Tells A Thousand Pictures
If you’d like to see this in action, here’s a 90 second video showing you some of the key features and benefits of Sumwise for pre-built models.