Confessions of a spreadsheet addict…

Written at Jul 31, 2023 2:01:17 PM by Robert Burgin

“Hi, my name is Rob, and I am a spreadsheet addict”

Please don’t take offense, my comment above is facetious and by no means belittling the topic of real addiction and the huge number of people fighting that battle daily, but please do let me explain…


How it started:

I’ve worked in the insurance industry since 2004 and from day one Excel has played a huge part in the way I, and I’m sure most of us work on a daily basis. At first glance, this ugly-looking grid program was very daunting, but with plenty of training, a few courses, and hours upon hours of practice later it became my new best friend (now that’s sad isn’t it). But it was true, being able to transfer huge tables of data into neat little pivot tables and process several complex calculations in seconds with a drag and click of a mouse, it became a vital tool, not just for me in my role but at a company level in every single department. Spreadsheets upon spreadsheets manually updated or extracting data from various sources, quite commonly other spreadsheets (crazy)! I used it so frequently it became my go-to for everything even if it was unrelated.

Moving around the industry, from broking to underwriting and then into software, pretty much every task and problem I was required to solve I would revert to Excel… how can I use it to make my life easier? Without realisation it had become my way of thinking.

How it’s going:

Now before this turns into an Excel and bordereaux appreciation post, it’s actually quite the opposite, it was when I started to work with bordereaux management systems that the cracks began to appear. Working in this area of Insurtech where most business data is still predominantly managed and transferred using bordereaux, a report normally in the form of an excel spreadsheet that details the assets covered normally split by risks, premiums, and claims (for those that are not familiar with the term). Like with most processes and systems initially it worked well and saved time (just like I did back in 2004), but over time technology has improved and the demand for insightful, valid data at a click of a button is at an all-time high.

In my previous role, we looked at ways in which we could make the existing process easier for our customers where we would collectively analyse and validate bordereaux to try and resolve human error…a constant uphill struggle with zero control over the initial bordereaux submission.   

This year (2022) I started working for DistriBind, a start-up Insurtech provider which offers a bordereaux management solution which in the CEO & Founder (@Dave Connors) own words “is on a mission to cure the insurance industry of its spreadsheet addiction” ( ). At Distribind we try to avoid using spreadsheets, even the word or mention of Excel is often met with an unamused glare followed by some bad language. That doesn’t mean we can’t process them, by design the system can ingest data directly from multiple sources in real time.  The software incorporates the latest machine learning and automation to process large datasets quickly which saves our customers time and money whilst improving the quality of the data (check the benefits here ).

Towards the future…

I can happily say I am no longer addicted to spreadsheets, working for DistriBind has opened my mind to a new, modern way of working. The current demand for meaningful bordereaux data doesn’t need to be bogged down by old methods, which quite frankly need to be left in the past. Once again, I can say I’m excited about the future and the product we must show you which doesn’t just patch over existing issues but offers a whole new alternative by automating the process from start to finish.

If you think you might be suffering from a case of spreadsheet addiction, please do reach out to us, there is a solution and help available, just click here to arrange a chat with one of our team. (

Share article

Robert Burgin