How I got out of Monotonous Copy and Paste in Reporting
Making your job interesting is your responsibility
How it all started
I was working on my first full time job when I was told by the management that they wanted to see the revenue of all the products every day, organized into weeks and month.
I thought to myself, 5 business areas, 6 products in each business areas. Each day, I need to take the 30 products sales numbers, copy and paste them one by one into 30 different spreadsheets. Plus, I have to add up the 6 products in each of the 5 business areas and put the 5 totals into another 5 worksheets. It was simple, tedious and monotonous. Not to mention that I had to take an hour or so each day to complete the task.
I hated Monday
I hated Monday because I had to spend 3 times the time to complete the task. There was no easy way out. I could waste my entire Monday morning entering 3 days of sales numbers into the 105 worksheets (3 days x 35 worksheets). And if I was on leave or on course, there was nobody to help me. The task simply piled up, waiting for my return.
After experiencing this for a long time, I managed to find some of my own personal time to read up some Excel books to see how I can cut short my time spent on this boring task. After spending hours scoring through Excel book after Excel book, I managed to design a way to cut the process by half. Still take a long time but at least the effort is halved. I was very proud of myself and thought that I was very smart until I went to another job.
I felt like knocking my head against the wall
I had to do a similar report. But this time, I saw my new colleagues just pasted the numbers into one spreadsheet and with a click of a button, all the numbers were updated by day and by weeks into the report. I felt like knocking my head against the wall.
Wasted hundreds of hours
I calculated that I had probably wasted 20 hours each month in my previous job doing something I could simply complete in just 1 min. I was overwhelmed. If I had known how to do this in my previous job, I wouldn’t have wasted hundreds of hours on this simple, tedious and boring report this entire time.
Boring Data Analytics books
That’s when I realized that knowing more was always better. But I can’t possibly change jobs constantly to find new ways of doing things. So the next best option was to attend training. I could tap on the brain of the trainers to learn new things and new ways of doing things. It was more productive than reading book after book and trying to figure out how to do a simple task better. Not everybody like to read books, especially boring data analytics books.
The best option was to learn from practitioners
So training is the way to pick up new things and be more productive. Tap on other’s experience instead of trying it on my own. But not all training programs were good. Some trainers simply read off the instruction manual. Others could demonstrate how to do things better but were not able to answer questions out of the scope of the training. The best option was to learn from practitioners.
I was hesitant to train
But not all practitioners were good at training. Most of them were impatient and would rather do it for you than to train you on how to do it. I was one of them. At that time, I just know how to do it but could explain how.
That’s why I started a data analytics consultancy business instead of a training business. It was only when one of my clients loved the way I worked with Excel and data analytics and they asked me to teach them. I was hesitant to train because I never tried to explain why certain things were done. So I did my revisions and trying to assemble topics that I thought were useful for them. And I tried to anticipate questions they were likely to ask.
Their colleagues wanted my training too
It turned out that the course was especially useful for them. They were able to revised with my details notes and maximize what they had learnt in the training. Learning from me was one of the best Excel training they ever had. And they wanted more. And their colleagues wanted my training too. And that’s when I started to run more Excel Data Analytics courses for them and conducted public runs. These courses were well received.
The PACE Framework
But as I trained more and more people, I noticed a group appeared. They can't grasp all the topics. And some had problem remembering the topics after the training. They had training notes but that didn't help them at all. I couldn't ignore them even though the group was small. I wanted as many people to be as proficient as me so that they could save time on their job. I wanted them to acquire the skills so that they did not have to follow my footsteps in the past and wasted time on reports. So I decided to invest money and time to find a way to make the course better and helped as many in this group as possible. After lots of trials and errors, I managed to increase their retention rate with my new found framework called PACE.
PACE is a simple framework which focuses on the entire process of preparing a report, for tracking and analysis. PACE refers to Preparation, Analysis, Communication and Evaluation. With PACE, they only had to spend 10-20% of their time preparing their data when most people spent 80% of their time doing copying and pasting like what I did before. The remaining 80% of the time could be used for in-depth analysis and reporting.
Most bosses don’t care
Most bosses don’t care how your report was done as long as the report was on their desk or inbox by a designated time. Some bosses even thought that learning Pivot Table is easy and all it takes is a few minutes. Little do they know that creating a good Pivot Table requires a good data source. These bosses data sources were prepared by people like you who have done lots of copying and pasting to prepare the data for them. But you don't have to do those boring copy and paste if you learn data analysis using the PACE framework.
PACE framework works for most data analytics apps
The PACE frame is where you get started. With the PACE framework, learning Excel, data analysis and Power BI do not have to be random any more. You can pick up any topic or tips, fit it into the PACE framework and you will be able to see clearly when to use it. It helps you to retrieve and use the tip any time you wanted. PACE framework works for most data analytics apps. With PACE, you can learn any data analytics app faster than anyone else.
My PACE framework will help you find every piece of the puzzle that has been missing all this while.
Sign up for this course and get started your first report using PACE. It is a real time saver, And it is simple to apply.
Here are the benefits you can enjoy when you learn the PACE framework
No more copy and paste
With our course, you can throw away boring and manual copy and paste
The report you create can be updated over and over again. You don't have to prepare them every time
With more time made available from data preparation, a better quality analysis could be carried out.
The PACE Framework
Hidden Secrets of Data Analysis in Excel
About the Author - Jason Khoo
Jason Khoo is an ACTA certified trainer of 20 years. He is a data analytics practitioner of 30 years. During his time of employment, he has worked in Tibs (currently SMRT), MobileOne Ltd, 3M and Virgin Mobile.
During his tenure, he has worked with multiple databases, extracted and downloaded information from systems and run numerous analysis. These analyses spanned across many departments such as Finance, Sales, Marketing, Human Resources, Payroll, etc.
After his employment, he worked as a data analytics consultant for many companies, including Discovery Asia, 3M, Tanah Merah Country Club, Johnson and Johnson Vision Care, National Environmental Agency, Timberland, etc.
His data analytics skills combined with Excel allowed him to deliver many reports to the clients without them having to incur software cost. These reports include Dashboards, Top 10 charts, Risk Analysis, Business Models, KPIs, etc.
As a trainer, he is passionate about transferring his knowledge and imparting his skills to his participants. To day, he has trained thousands in his face to face workshops and had conducted talks for thousands as well.
Trans-Island Bus Services Ltd (Tibs) –Operations and Revenue Analytics, Passengers Travelling Behaviour Analytics
- Daily tracking of revenue,
- Prepare KPI for LTA,
- Fare revision analysis
Mobile One Asia Ltd (M1) – Financial analytics, Customer Call Usage Analytics
- Full company budgeting and business planning,
- Monthly Analysis,
- KPI reporting
3M – Sales, Cost and Inventory analytics
- Daily and Monthly Sales Forecasting,
- Analysis of Marketing Budget,
- Analysis of Inventory and shipments.
- Cost Analysis for new products (BOM analysis)
Virgin Mobile – Retail, Marketing, Payroll, Admin, IT, Finance Analytics
- Daily KPI reporting,
- Monthly Analysis for Finance, Payroll,
- Developed Fully Automated Business Model driven by KPI.