Data.Depicted Episode 3: Remove Excel data smoke. Fire up the team

Data.Depicted Episode 3: Remove Excel data smoke. Fire up the team

Paulina Kondratowicz

7 min
Data.Depicted Episode 3: Remove Excel data smoke. Fire up the team

Let’s imagine a typical situation, which (unfortunately) is commonplace in many companies. One of the responsibilities of managers is reporting using data placed in an extensive Excel visualization spreadsheets. Working on this type of tool can be troublesome for several reasons. Often, it is the employee’s responsibility to find a solution that will allow them to do their job as quickly as possible, especially when it comes to excel visualization. Therefore, formulas, macros, and other facilities are created internally for the data contained in Excel. In turn, work on internal tools and managing Excel visualization dashboards aimed at working with an extensive worksheet is not obvious and easy to implement for every employee. The element of the probability of a decrease in work efficiency and the risk of making mistakes while performing it also sneaks in here.

Exposing the company and employees to tedious, often unproductive activities, can significantly contribute to generating financial burdens, already at the internal level in the enterprise. In this episode of our Data: Depicted series, we will focus on ways to increase work efficiency using appropriate data visualization tools excluding Excel visualization. We will also present our ideas for such applications that will significantly motivate the team to work and facilitate its performance.

Data analysis vs. efficiency

Let’s look at the data we work with daily. Often, it is thousands of information that has an impact on decision-making, concluding, further planning of the strategy or its modification. In the case of the accumulation of such a large amount of data, it is difficult to talk about an easy process understanding that takes place in the company, not to mention the effectiveness of work on them. By using spreadsheets as well as Excel visualization and having internally designed macros at your disposal, you can’t always see the full picture of all data.

‘Spreadsheets are used for the flat presentation of data structure. Adding formulas creates dimensions to calculations. However, interactive diagrams allows you to separate data areas on which calculations are made. Thanks to that, the formula contains actual calculations without data limitation conditions’ says Patrycja Krzeszowiec, Synergy Codes’ Team Leader and Developer.

The ability to efficiently analyze and work on data using the appropriate tool will affect work efficiency and understanding. Having the right tool at your disposal that sorts data according to specific schemes and groups them to priorities, we gain confidence that every person in a given company, having access to data, can use them safely and logically. What’s more, while working with the application designed for interactive data visualization and process modeling, errors are significantly eliminated at the level of process validation. Therefore, the efficiency and results can contribute to significant growth engineers’ and managers’ commitment as well as avoiding the costs associated with eliminating errors.

Data reading and work improvement

What are the main characteristics of a data reading tool if spreadsheets and Excel visualization are not the best solution? First of all, it should facilitate data verification, grouping, and ordering according to established procedures and filters, thus accelerating the processing. In the case of Excel visualization, all activities, even when using the macros, do not always affect the efficient use of all data. 

Secondly,  according to Patrycja Krzeszowiec, using macros is not a secure solution. Storing sensitive data in Excel is a problematic topic, which highlighted the provisions of the GDPR.

What’s more, when using these tools, you need to gain a relatively advanced knowledge of how to use spreadsheets and Excel visualization dashboards.

In contrast to the spreadsheet and Excel visualization dashboards, we can focus on applications that facilitate working with data. Thanks to this, the employee focuses on the merits rather than building a tool to work on the selected project. In the longer term, the use of a specially created tool imposes an obligation to interpret the data or the trust in the correctness of the received data on the employee. Therefore they must not contain errors. Thanks to the efficient tool, apart from the correct data recognition and interpretation, the communication between project participants or the employees, who are not included in a given project is efficient and trouble-free. Therefore, crisis management and making necessary changes to the project are carried out without random and chaotic procedures. In the end, their appropriate exposure and modification result in project extension and data security.

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Having a ready-made tool prepared especially for the needs of a given project will save time and often also finances. By delegating the task of creating an application tailored to the needs of a given company to a trusted vendor, it is possible to receive such a tool that will allow you to extract specific data and prepare reliable reports based on a selected part of the project. What’s more, tools for analyzing, mapping processes, and data visualizations will help to verify the truthfulness of data and give employees confidence in them by eliminating mistaken factors. Finally, by converting boxed tools to custom and personalized applications, the work standard is raised by focusing on performance without manual data analysis. The perfect visualization also contributes to efficient project management. However, we will talk more about how important and necessary visualization is in the next part of our series.