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Escape from Excel %&#$

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If you work with your company’s data team, chances are you’ve visited this place quite often. This isn’t a happy place. It’s a place filled with misery, annoyance, time wasting, hair pulling - the list goes on.  Travel to this place always starts the same way, with a double click on an innocent looking green icon in the corner of your screen. Once opened, the Excel sheet looks crisp, clean, and ready for all of your data, but we all know this is the only time it will look this good. 

After you have spent hours formatting your rows and columns, and you’ve entered your company’s rules, standards, dictionary terms and processes into the sheet, you are finally ready to distribute your work to the team for approval and updates. This is when the real havoc begins. Everyone responds to your request in a different format; whether it’s a response back in the body of the email, making their own edits in the Excel doc, calling on the phone to verbally tell you their edits, and so on.  Then you get to work consolidating all of the information you received and making sure everyone’s edits correctly make it to the updated document. Your reward? Excel version 2 and you have officially entered Excel %&#$.

Now you move on to round two! It’s time to redistribute the document to the team for the next round of approvals, and updates. Before you know it, you have countless Excel files and the most up to date document is version 8 (or so you think). I think we can all agree that this vicious cycle of distributing, consolidating, editing and redistributing takes too long and is not an efficient use of our time. So why do we keep doing this to ourselves over and over again? Isn’t there a more efficient way to collaborate with team members?

The cause of this endless cycle is a lack of coordinated communication between the business and IT sides of the company. The business often has the knowledge of why certain rules or standards are what they are, but IT is tasked with implementing and organizing the technical aspect. Bloor reports that “57% of data quality issues were reported by either employees or customers rather than those responsible for monitoring and maintaining data quality.” This failure was most often blamed on “lack of collaboration and communication between departments.”

Information Value Management® to the Rescue!

Working with a data team that uses Information Value Management® changes everything!  DATUM’s Information Value Management is a centralized platform that will vastly reduce your time spent in Excel %&#$.  Information Value Management will become your living, breathing collaboration framework to organize all of your data dictionaries, business glossaries, catalog terms, business rules around your data, policies and standards (and much, much more!). Our SaaS platform enhances collaboration between executives, data leadership, data stewards, business owners and IT professionals. Providing this central location for previously siloed divisions eliminates the stress of updates and changes. Within Information Value Management there are worklists, approval processes, issue management capabilities, change tracking, as well as many other useful tools and accelerators which help resolve the clutter of emails, Excel docs, and unorganized spreadsheet spreading. 

Information Value Management can single-handedly resolve the frenzy of Excel %&#$ and drastically improve the relationship between data stewards, business owners and IT contributors. After using it in your organization, you’ll wonder how you ever operated efficiently without it…it’s most likely that you didn’t.  Don’t wait another minute to have the Right Data. Right Decisions. Right Now

Have an example of your own Excel %&#$?  Snap a picture and show us your example on @datumstrategy!

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you escape from Excel %&#$ and schedule a demo.

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Ben Buhl

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