Thursday, September 11, 2014

Keeping Your Reports Up-to-Date

Keeping your Excel reports current up-to-the-minute or even up-to-date can be challenging.  There are several ways of approaching this, of course, and we will explore a couple of the key best practices to do this.

First of all, if you can store (not just analyze) your data in Excel, you can use some extremely powerful functions to mine your in-app database.  If you have your database and reports contained within one Excel workbook, you can use Boolean functions (i.e. SUMPRODUCT is the most straightforward…) to extract the information you want from your data.  Information is, of course, what any good analyst wants, as all the data in the world serves no useful purpose unless information is extracted from it…

By anticipating the addition of future data in the named ranges in your Excel database, the reports will automatically update as soon as any new date is added.  Simply name the ranges to include the currently empty records area that will be developed as future data is entered.

But, let’s say you do not have your data stored in your Excel workbook (e.g. SQL, Access, SAP, etc.).  Let’s also say that every time you download a data update from the database source you then have to manipulate it in order to have it produce the information you desire in Excel.  What can you do?

Having to do repetitive manipulation of data every time you need to update your reports can obviously deter you from keeping your data.  One excellent solution (which can make you look like a Rock Star in the process) is to Record a Macro of your repetitive steps and link it to a simple button in your report workbook.  Then whenever you import fresh data, you press the button (in cavalier style, of course) and Badda Bing, your report is Up-to-Date!

Keeping your Excel reports current up-to-the-minute or even up-to-date can be a Snap with a couple of compelling tricks!

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