The Excel half-life – how quickly your data crash?

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Alica Kačengová

It often starts with a simple task – to create a small report in a spreadsheet. You know that you need just a few charts and tables, and using spreadsheet is the fastest and the most convenient way to do it. However, soon after that, you find out that a report is never small enough. Your boss asks you to add some data that weren’t considered before, and another chart, and then change some numbers…

Actually, the report has become a living organism that is constantly changing according to the current needs. More questions arise – what if we tried this and that, what if we added one last chart, what if we changed the parameters slightly? There is always something to improve and you want your report to be as good as it can be, don’t you? So, the data are copied, duplicated, modified and the functions are getting more and more complex for the sake of soon-to-be perfection (in which you still believe).

The report is getting bigger and better, you think you’re almost finished, and then it happens… Wait, few cells are missing from the range, let’s fix that! By the way, what is the exact meaning of this column? Is this per week or overall value? How come that when I change the values, the chart is unaffected? Suddenly, everything is breaking down and the more you try to save it, the more impossible it seems.

Have you ever been through this spreadsheet nightmare? We bet you have. How long did it take for your spreadsheet to fall apart and make you start again from scratch? We bet it was before you delivered the results but after you spent enough time to feel disappointed and not productive.

Sure, spreadsheets are accessible and easy to use. On the other hand, they carry a lot of risks – from data integrity (wrong ranges, duplicates, wrong values) to wrong formatting (decimal separator). These all seem like little things but can ruin complex reports because they are so difficult to find and manage. And in spreadsheets all of this is a hard manual work.

Imagine you were not alone while creating the report. Wouldn’t it be better, if not only you, but also the system knew the meaning of the data you’re working with, and could address and eliminate those spreadsheet risks? Even give you hints about which formula/value/function could be useful for you right at that moment? We know about one guy that can do exactly that, and his name is Lumeer!

While creating your tables and filling in data, Lumeer tries to recognize what is the meaning of individual values. When unsure, he just asks you for a confirmation. He makes sure to always cover all your current data and that the records stay consistent. You can walk a long path and build another computations on the previous data and search results. Later, when putting more types of data into a context in a chart or any other visual report, Lumeer tries to suggest you some configurations based on what he already knows. When you do not like the output, you can directly edit the original data by dragging objects in a chart. You can also perform batch operations when there is something to be fixed. Lumeer is like your colleague who does all the hard work for you.