Introduction

Excel is a powerful tool that can have a lot of uses in business and non-profits.  Excel sometimes makes headlines for the wrong reasons:

  • It is being used beyond its capacities and has been setup without sufficient error handling, and therefore silently fails.
  • Formulas are incorrect and go unnoticed causing bad policies or commercial decisions to be made on flawed data.

I love using Excel, and where it is the right tool for the job, I can help you maximise your efficiency, accuracy and value that you get from your spreadsheet solutions.  Perhaps you need support on just one part of your solution, or perhaps you need an end to end solution.

‌‌‌ Collect data

The quality of your data is dependent on it being entered accurately.  Your users can be helped to enter data quickly and accurately with a well designed worksheet, user form or template.  Whether it is dynamic data validation, a user form with search as you type functionality, time entry functions, or pre-populating user data from their login and Active Directory, I can help you optimise your data collection stage so users can concentrate on their job rather than a cumbersome recording tool.

Examples of previous Excel data collection solutions include:

  • A timesheet for recording split of time between projects and activities with the completed data being saved into a database
  • An activity tracker with search as you type fields on a user form
  • Setting up a template with dynamic user validation rules depending on user needs; the solution then output a CSV file that could be imported into a cloud system

Find out how I can accelerate your data collection to improve efficiency.

Calculations

Accuracy and efficiency are the most important factors for the calculations in your spreadsheet; will the results be as expected and will the numbers re-calculate quickly when values are changed, even with large datasets?  These are the top priorities when the spreadsheet is working and nothing needs to change.  What happens if something changes and your spreadsheet stops working or your needs change and you want to change the spreadsheet calculations to produce different figures?

I have extensive experience in designing and developing spreadsheets with complex calculation structures and optimising for efficiency.  Data will be calculated in clear steps, with readable formulae and robust exception handling.

Spreadsheets with incorrect formulae make headlines; whether it is a bad policy based on flawed calculations or incorrect commercial decisions based on faulty models; spreadsheets that work don't create headlines, they keep working, saving time and creating value in your organisation.

Find out how your spreadsheets can avoid the headlines and help you make informed decisions to improve your performance.

Analyse Data

So you've collected your data efficiently and accurately; what next?

The right suite of charts and tables can make the difference between being able to use your data to inform your decisions and improve performance and spending hours pouring over tables of data trying to decipher patterns.  In theory anyone can create charts from Excel data; what I can offer is years of expertise putting together intuitive dashboards that will give you the answers you need quickly:

  • Which activities generate the most profit?
  • What activities take up most time?
  • Which interventions produce the best outcome efficiently?

Find out how I can transform your data into a solution that will give you and your stakeholders the answers to your questions quickly.

Present Data

‌‌‌Presenting data well in Excel not only makes it easy for your users to find the answers they are seeking quickly, but also presents a professional image.  People view a page in a certain way so you want the information to flow logically across the page and you want to draw attention key information.  A well designed dashboard can not only make information easy to find but can improve your reputation as a professional organisation.

‌‌‌Automate Excel

Excel includes the VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) scripting language.  At its most basic, you can record your steps to create a macro that you can play over and over again.  At the higher level automation can help to make data imports and exports more efficient; it can add additional steps and protect your workbooks.

Examples of previous Excel automation projects include:

  • Import of latest data from SQL Server and refreshing all the dashboards
  • Importing data from multiple workbooks
  • Importing data received by email as zipped CSV files
  • Encryption and decryption of sensitive data  
  • Export of PDF reports
  • Export of data as CSV, Excel files and other formats

‌‌‌Troubleshoot Excel Spreadsheets

Perhaps you've had a spreadsheet for years and its recently stopped working? Perhaps you're most of the way there with a spreadsheet but can't work out how to do one aspect?  I have years of experience of troubleshooting other people's spreadsheets, finding solutions or workarounds.

Tell me out your issue and I will help you find a solution.