I use Excel extensively in my day to day working life. As an finance director of 20 years experience working in companies from 50 -500 employees it is critical to have a clear view as to the numbers, where they come from and what they mean. In general, I find Excel performs most things incredibly well. It is powerful, flexible and generally easy to use.
However, this leads to some of its well documented downsides. It can often lead to complicated spreadsheets that are unmanageable and can only really be used in an effective way by the original author. Furthermore, in my experience, there are a number day to day situations where excel is used extensively in operations but it might not be the most appropriate tool for the job.
Over the coming weeks I will be exploring the OrgVue product and how it has helped me to solve some of the questions that I am asked and need to be able to respond to in a matter of seconds. It is very clear to me that OrgVue is a complementary product to Excel and for some tasks its structure and graphing capabilities add a powerful dimension to the insight one can see from the raw data.
Today I will be using a simple example that often frustrates me with Excel – The Filter Function.
Increasingly Excel holds significant amount of data in tables very often with a filter control over the data enabling subsets of data to be selected. Often I find myself searching for one or more filters that might be set and trying to “see” exactly what is being looked at. The following is a typical example of a data set relating to employees where there are 3 filters set on Gender, Current Employee and How Recruited:
However, it is impossible to see what selection have been made within these filters. This becomes particularly painful when your spreadsheet has a significant number of columns and you are constantly scrolling across to find the filters which have been applied.
OrgVue has solved this problem by having a single “Filter” window which is intuitive, easy to use and enables your data to be understood and altered with a minimum of fuss.
OrgVue has enabled me to do in seconds things that would take several minutes in Excel. I am now able to answer questions fast and accurately and has given me significant insight in to the business.
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