In an ideal world.
Imagine a world where household chores are fully automated. Your groceries now:
strips from its own packaging
self-sorts by category and colour
organises magically to where they belong
When you return home, you find the things you need immediately. Most importantly, you can concentrate on work that needs to be done (i.e. cook up that scrumptious meal that takes forever), without the mess around distracting you. Sounds great?
You wish right? We're not quite there yet in our world, but lucky for you in the world of data, magic is real. Well almost.
Data reaches us from multiple sources: via email from teams, downloaded from internal data warehouses, the list goes on. Unlike our groceries which take time, effort and resources to be sorted out, data can be managed in a few smart clicks. In fact, it is entirely possible for data to be imported, stored, organised into correct folders and periodically shared with everyone, without much fuss.
But first, let’s take a look at why data cleaning and preparation is crucial to the business world. The rage these days is all about making data-driven decisions. Be it Big Data, Business Intelligence, Data Visualisation, Predictive Analytics, Forecasting, you name it. To have the most impactful discussions or make the most informed split second decisions, sound data is a must.
However it's true not many understand the backstory, to providing clean data. The chaos that data crunchers must face down. What happens before you reach those key insights for analysis? On a typical day, you would slog through tedious, repetitive steps when dealing with data management.
We think it’s time data crunchers caught a break.
It’s not a wand or magic portal, it’s… Excel’s Power Series.
All you need is a solid system with the right tools. It’s about getting your basics right and strengthening your foundation so to save yourself precious time.
Excel’s Power Query and Power Pivot are free add-in tools designed to make your life a lot easier. Here’s what they offer, in essence:
Prepares your data accurately for reporting and analysis.
Automates data updating, cleaning, and shaping processes extensively.
Does not need macros or VBA programming.
Links different data sources easily without VLOOKUP()
Makes dynamic time-intelligence calculations a breeze e.g. Same Period Last Year, Year-To-Date, Last 12 Months Rolling Average
Enables on-demand complex slicing and dicing to answer your ever-changing business questions