AI Tools and Platforms for Financial Analysis

In the realm of finance and data analysis, especially for a treasurer, several AI tools can either complement or potentially replace Excel. Here’s an overview of some platforms and AI tools that can be used for various financial and data analytic tasks, along with a discussion on whether they should replace or complement Excel:

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1. Tableau

  • Description: A powerful data visualization tool that can handle complex data analysis and visualization tasks with ease.
  • Capabilities: It allows for interactive, shareable dashboards that can be customized with a wide range of visual analytics.
  • Use Case: Can be used to create advanced visualizations and dashboards, which can be more insightful than Excel charts.
  • Integration: Can be integrated with Excel, allowing for seamless data transfer and extended capabilities.

2. Power BI

  • Description: A business analytics service by Microsoft that provides interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities.
  • Capabilities: It connects to various data sources, automates data refresh, and provides real-time analytics.
  • Use Case: Suitable for creating dynamic reports and dashboards, enhancing the insights derived from financial data.
  • Integration: Integrates well with Excel, providing a powerful complement to traditional Excel-based analytics.

3. Alteryx

  • Description: A data blending and advanced data analytics tool that enables users to prepare, blend, and analyze data quickly.
  • Capabilities: It offers predictive, statistical, and spatial analytics without the need for coding.
  • Use Case: Ideal for complex data preparation, blending multiple data sources, and performing advanced analytics.
  • Integration: Can work as an add-on to Excel, importing and exporting data easily between the two platforms.

4. Anaplan

  • Description: A cloud-based planning and performance management platform for finance, sales, and operations.
  • Capabilities: Supports dynamic, collaborative planning and complex scenario modeling.
  • Use Case: Useful for financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting, which are traditionally done in Excel.
  • Integration: Can replace Excel for certain planning and modeling tasks, but also complement it through integration.

5. R and Python (with libraries like tidyverse, ggplot2, xts, Pandas, NumPy, and SciPy)

  • Description: Open-source programming languages with extensive libraries for data analysis and financial modeling.
  • Capabilities: Enable advanced statistical analysis, machine learning, and data manipulation.
  • Use Case: Suitable for highly complex, customized analytics that go beyond Excel’s capabilities.
  • Integration: Can be used alongside Excel, leveraging tools like Jupyter Notebooks to automate and extend analysis.

6. Google Sheets with Google Data Studio

  • Description: Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet tool, and Google Data Studio is a data visualization and reporting tool.
  • Capabilities: Google Sheets offers similar functionalities to Excel with real-time collaboration, while Data Studio provides robust visualization tools.
  • Use Cas: Useful for collaborative work and integrating with other Google Workspace tools.
  • Integration: Can complement Excel by providing real-time collaboration and enhanced visualization capabilities.
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Should These Tools Replace or Complement Excel?

Replace Excel

  • For Highly Specialized Tasks: Tools like Anaplan and Alteryx may replace Excel for specific financial planning, budgeting, and advanced analytics tasks where Excel falls short.
  • For Scalability: When dealing with large datasets or requiring complex data modeling, tools like R, Python, Tableau, and Power BI offer capabilities beyond Excel’s limitations.

Complement Excel

  • For General Use: Excel is still highly versatile for a wide range of day-to-day financial tasks and is well-integrated into many business processes.
  • For Enhanced Capabilities: Tools like Tableau, Power BI, and Alteryx can extend Excel’s capabilities, providing advanced analytics and visualization features while still leveraging Excel’s familiarity and ease of use.
  • For Collaboration: Google Sheets can be used alongside Excel to enable real-time collaboration and cloud-based access.

How about AI tools that could fully replace excel ?

There are several AI tools and bots that can be integrated with Excel to enhance its capabilities, leveraging AI to automate tasks, generate complex formulas, and analyze data more efficiently. Here are some notable options:

1. Excel Formula Bot 

This tool helps users convert text instructions into Excel and Google Sheets formulas. It’s designed to streamline workflows by automating the formula creation process, making it user-friendly and intuitive

2. SheetGod

This AI tool generates complex Excel formulas, macros, and regular expressions from plain English. It also offers features like sending marketing emails, generating bulk PDFs, and creating Google Workspace Add-Ons and Microsoft Excel Add-Ins.

3. GPTExcel

This tool uses AI to generate spreadsheet formulas for Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets based on user inputs. It also provides explanations for the generated formulas to help users understand and apply them effectively

4. PromptLoop

This tool allows users to integrate AI like GPT-3 directly into their spreadsheets to categorize, summarize, and transform text data. It simplifies the process of building AI-powered models in Excel without requiring extensive programming knowledge.

5. Excelly-AI

An AI tool that transforms plain text into Excel formulas. It uses GPT-3.5-turbo technology to compute complex formulas and provides explanations for each one. It supports integration with both Excel and Google Sheets.

6. FormulaGenerator

This tool generates and explains Excel formulas, VBA automations, Regex, and SQL queries from simple text instructions. It also includes an AI-powered Q&A bot for real-time assistance within spreadsheets.


Known as “ChatGPT for Spreadsheets,” this tool can perform a variety of tasks, such as generating formulas, writing SEO content, and categorizing products using sentiment analysis. It works with both Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.

These tools can significantly enhance the functionality of Excel, making complex data tasks easier and more efficient. They are designed to be used as add-ons, integrating seamlessly with Excel to provide advanced capabilities without replacing the core functionalities of the software. Whether you’re a treasurer or a data analyst, these AI tools can help automate repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and save time, allowing you to focus on more strategic aspects of your work.


For a treasurer, it’s often beneficial to use these AI tools as add-ons to Excel rather than complete replacements. This approach leverages the strengths of Excel while enhancing its capabilities with specialized tools for more complex or large-scale data analysis and visualization tasks.

We thought it would be valuable to get perspectives from Treasury professionals Sebastian and James, who are also Treasury Mastermind Board members.

  • Do you think AI tools can fully replace Excel in treasury?
  • ChatGPT upgrades allow us to upload data and tell ChatGPT exactly what we need as output, saving us hours. Is this a threat or an opportunity?
Sebastian-Muller-Bosse_Treasurymastermind Board member

Sebastian Müller-Bosse, Manager Administration & Operations at Finance & Treasury Services GmbH, Comments

Do AI tools have the potential to fully replace Excel? Yes, of course, it only depends on the specific use case that treasurers are using Excel for! Let’s be honest, Excel is a basic calculation tool that does mathematic operations and creates tables. By looking at the extensive list of other options, you will realize it’s not even the best in class for doing it. There are much more advanced data visualization options with PowerBI or Tableau and R or Phyton can handle much more data and calculate faster.

In my opinion, the actual question is not if AI CAN replace Excel but rather IF treasurers will adapt to using AI tools in their organization. Here, I think the majority of treasurers will clearly stick to Excel and maybe will use AI tools as a complement since Excel is THE predominant and handy-to-use tool out there for all finance professionals.

Only a fraction of finance professionals are already using R / Phyton, and PowerBI today, and these are not even AI tools. Why is the number of users not much higher, if these are clearly better? Because of convenience, the unwillingness to “change a winning” team, and maybe because learning new tools is hard (let’s not forget that it’s already hard to switch from Excel to Google Sheets and get to know the different layouts, etc!). AI today is making the job of learning new tools much easier because you don’t need to know how to code anymore. You simply get a running code delivered to your doorstep. 

The only problem that remains is that you still need the infrastructure and knowledge in case something is not adding up. You are ready to start learning about all the new fancy AI tools out there and are eager to integrate them into your daily work. Great! But if your organization forbids you to install/use them, you’re back where you started. In most cases, it’s not a “PlayStation” vs. “XBox” question since AI tools and Excel work in totally different spheres. With Excel, no one asks questions about data protection or the reliability of the deep learning models. With AI tools, you need to know much more about their suitability and how their use affects your organization’s data.

Lastly, you still need to have Excel knowledge or knowledge about how to handle errors because AI probably can’t fix your bug even if you’re prompting,It’s still not working like expected; try again.” AI can be a huge complementary friend in creating the most complex Excel formulas but you still need to understand the outputs of AI tools and where to twitch and twerk them for you to get the correct results. The INDEX() formula that AI suggested is not worki.g? Well, if you don’t know how the form works, you can’t give AI the proper instructions to look for a possible mistake it made.
In conclusion, since Excel is so widely used and you learn it in kindergarten, I expect that it will stick around much longer and won’t be replaced so easily. It’s like changing from fossil fuel cars to electric cars. The whole ecosystem and infrastructure need to adapt to it; you can’t switch by yourself if other stakeholders in your Treasury function still rely on Excel reports.

James Kelly, SVP, Treasury at Pearson, Comments

I think Excel is of course here to stay, but the Excel that we use today has far greater capabilities than five years ago, so I think the question is more what is the future of Excel, and then where will the gaps be that other tools can fill.

Microsoft is embedding Copilot into Excel, and you can already largely create an Excel sheet using natural language without using any formulas. This is going to become more common as the technology is further embedded into Excel. So, I don’t see Excel going anywhere anytime soon; it’s too important to Microsoft and it has such a loyal base.

However, Excel isn’t built for heavy duty data analysis or as a specialist dashboard tool, so for tasks that require more complex manipulation for larger datasets, a specialist tool should outperform.

For large financial models, for example, file size can quickly become a problem, making files slow to open, load, or unstable. Packages like Python allow more complex operations to be performed in seconds and for extracts to be sent back to Excel, so I don’t see the need to completely avoid Excel, simply to use tools for specific tasks that speed things up or provide greater insight.

The great news is that for us treasurers, whatever happens, we’re going to see a wave of innovation, which will make it easier to manage risk and improve reporting over the coming years.

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