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It is easy convenient and I admit ego-boosting to show off what I can do in a spreadsheet. With that in mind let s look at some of the differences between these two different types of tools. For the purposes of this article I selected six criteria by which to make the comparison. These were selected from the feedback of customers and prospects as well as learning what is important for the successful adoption and implementation of project tools within an organization. Data Mining Data mining is a huge part of project management tools. The whole reason for having a tool is to collect data so that you can look intelligently at that data make sure your processes are performing as advertised and make good decisions.
Also how do you intend to handle depreciation and amortization since these are non-cash items that are typically added back to the income statement entries when determining the cash effect. Also how long is your investment horizon? Is it really that important to you to project out to 30 years or is 3-5 years sufficient along with a terminal value that represents the expected NPV beyond 5 years? Usually this latter approach works best and looks the most credible to potential investors. There are numerous ways to calculate terminal value including multiples current market values projected forward and round guesstimates. Obviously these decisions are affected by your personal preference and the type of investment for which you re calculating present value.
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This is where the right project management software tool shines and spreadsheets fade. A good project management tool will be database-oriented and should allow for different types of ad hoc reporting across multiple projects. This enables the mining of all kinds of data. You simply cannot do this in a spreadsheet at the same level. If you really really know what you are doing it is possible to tie spreadsheets together and generate some integrated data. But that is not the same thing. You simply cannot on a whim mine into the data represented in your multiple spreadsheets. And in today s environment this is critically important.