Fund Manager Performance Spreadsheets

A leading financial news provider regularly published Excel spreadsheets that allowed investors to review the performance of fund managers over a certain period. These spreadsheets not only included performance ratings for the managers, but charts visualising the data, as well as the providers’ branding and other complex formatting.

The provider wanted to automate the increasingly time-consuming process of creating these spreadsheets, which was mostly done manually. Sinara was brought in to develop a tool that the client’s operations staff could use to generate larger numbers of spreadsheets on a daily basis for all of the fund mangers they tracked. The tool’s requirement was to read the performance data from the providers’ existing databases and output Excel spreadsheets that would be ready to distribute to the providers’ customers.

Sinara built the tool in C# and used the Microsoft Office OpenXML SDK for .NET to generate Excel files based on a template spreadsheet provided by the client. This choice was made since the tool would be running on a server machine, where there would be no installed copy of Excel that the tool could call on programmatically to generate the spreadsheets. It was therefore necessary to directly build the Excel XLSX files (Office OpenXML) and ensure they could be opened by Excel on a desktop machine.

The tool was structured in a such a way that the template could be changed with minimal impact on the rest of the code. Sinara also developed various extensions to the OpenXML SDK to allow for more rapid development. As the client intended to continue development in-house, Sinara performed a handover of the source code, with extensive documentation, once the project was completed.

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