Comparing Your Data with Spreadsheets

Can spreadsheets do this?

Believe it or not, I am seeing an increasing demand for spreadsheets to check, compare, and then report on data sets. This is probably due to most software systems exporting data to CSV, but not necessarily communicating with other software. For example, a door entry system, which export data indicating who entered when, and a list of personnel and when they should be entering. Comparing two sets of data for informative purposes can be a real pain, but with a spreadsheet it could take mere seconds.

Energy usage compared to cheaper energy times, staff working times compared to productivity, or even comparing analytics from different social media sites, we are always happy to look at data sets and see what information we can extract from them.

Aren’t spreadsheets for financial use only?

This is a common misconception, most people associate spreadsheets with financial templates. They can do so much more than that. I often get people asking me if I work mainly for accountants, or I see people asking for spreadsheet solutions for financial administration, but not for anything else. Spreadsheets are almost (I said almost, so if you’re a programmer, don’t get upset) like a programming language, but instead of lines of code, you use formulas to tell it what to do. Now some people’s knowledge of formulas may be limited to simple financial based formulas, but mine isn’t. You can even add lines of code in Excel (macros), but I prefer not even to do that, and rely solely on formulas.

Does Excel have limits? Yes of course, and they are much lower than programmed software, but not as low as you may think. Besides, if it can be done in Excel, it will be much easier to do than using programming languages (and therefore much cheaper).

What now?

So, what could you be doing using Excel? What tasks do you find yourself spending unnecessary time on? What do you think could be done more quickly and efficiently with the right spreadsheet? I’d love to hear from you. Even if you don’t buy one from me, I’m always looking for ideas for my store products (and in fact free downloads).

Why work harder when you can get a spreadsheet to do the job?

Keep in touch.

Richard