Who says numbers can’t be creative?

Posted by BMD 31/05/17

Words By Paulina Tabarini
Business Development Manager, BlueMelon Design

Inspiration can come in many ways. In the past I’ve worked in business development roles where you need to rush to get your financial reports and analysis ready to present to a board of directors. This can be quite stressful and time sensitive, taking away your mind from the creative side. You get all of your numbers down in an Excel spreadsheet, and as long as all the information is there and everyone understands it then you’ve done your job.

For me, though, that’s not enough. Being a part of a company means you have to be a team player, and that means learning how to speak other team members’ language too.

Numbers may be easy to understand for financial minds, but not for our marketing team, and even less so for designers. And this has nothing to do with being smart or not, it’s whether what you’re producing speaks their same language.

That’s why I always have a go at being creative with numbers. When building my reports or spreadsheets, I start thinking about how to best grab and keep my audience’s attention.

‘Financials’ is a word that makes many people think “boring and complicated”, but at the end of the day not knowing what is going on with your financials is the same as not going ever to the doctor.

For example, as a Business Development Manager (BDM) building the background of each product, you need to have a way of costing and measuring the results. Instead of just grabbing a spreadsheet and filling up the obvious fields, what I do is think “what would make my co-workers’ life easier?” Because usually what happens with these type of files is that you send them to your team so that they can fill them in each time (which is very time consuming and boring).

In creating a quoting file for BlueMelon Design, I’ve used a different series of formulas and Excel features that, at the end of the day, allows the project manager to just pick the variations of each product. For example, for quoting a service we offer, the project manager can now pick up different variables – like the complexity of the design, the complexity of the animation, team needed, profit margin, and so on – in order to work out what their price would be. This saves the Project Manager and our clients lots of time, as it makes quoting a simple and easy process.

So who says Excel can’t be creative? It just takes knowing how to structure everything with the formulas and features you have available, and I would say you can basically get Excel to do whatever you want. This will allow your team to have a better understanding of the company finances in an easy and efficient way.