We’re All Data Manipulators…


“When we think about it we’re all just manipulating data. We need to learn how to do it more effectively and more efficiently”   VP Accounting

This was part of an introductory speech our accounting vice president gave a room full of accounting professionals one morning just before I put on a four-hour training session.  I remember listening to those words thinking “he gets it, someone in management gets it”.

I firmly believe that if management realized just how much time their employees spent working with data they would take drastic steps to educate and empower their workforce.  Walk through just about any office and look at the computer screens. Odds are you’ll see Excel running.

The reality is that Excel is the de facto application for anything and everything that cannot be handled in the main ERP. Millions of users realize this every day. Without Excel they would literally grind to a halt. Our vice president understood this and sought to educate his employees on how they could better use Excel.

He also understood the value of being able to obtain data quickly. I know that on more than one occasion he touted my user-built applications to the IT department asking ‘why can’t you deliver something like Steve’s built, the users love it and tell me that it’s much easier to use than anything IT has written.” Don’t you know I was popular with IT after that?

Management for the user groups must get a handle on one very important point. The data belongs to the users, not the IT group.  If you’re an Access or Excel guru then you understand this statement. You too are constantly amazed by the resistance IT departments can muster.

Users must gain access to their data, and they must learn how to manipulate that data to an end result. As they are creating their processes they must understand that if they are taking more than just a few minutes to finish the task, then they are wasting time. Unfortunately most users don’t have a clue that their 6 hour process could be accomplished in 5 minutes. Others don’t believe it could be possible because after all, look at all the thought processes they have to go through.

The featured video shows a task that used to take this lady about 6 to 8 hours. Fortunately for her, she knew this could be done more quickly. She just didn’t know how. After our training session she realized that I could help. She approached me and the result, after about a day’s worth of coding, is the following.

The video is not an attempt to teach you anything specific as much as it is an attempt to get you thinking about your processes.

If being able to manipulate data like this interests you then check out the Tutorial Videos on Queries. This is the building block for manipulating data. In fact check out all the Tutorial videos associated  with The Data Wand.

Posted in: Featured on August 1st by admin


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