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Some Progress at Work

Abstract picture for ProgressLast week I made some progress in delving into the numbers at work. I was trying to reconcile data between two systems and nothing was tying out. I knew there were some issues, but it couldn’t be that bad. I figured I was not looking at the information correctly. In order to get some kind of response, I went ahead and sent out a report with some comparisons. This particular report dealt with aging receivables and it had a layout showing the aging by current, 30 days, 60 days, and 90+ days.

The lady said my pivot table was confusing and yup, I agreed wholeheartedly.

But once she told me about the history of the way the data was transferred over from one system to the next and the reasoning that goes behind the comparison of data, the new knowledge gave me a guideline on how to set up the comparison pivot table. I was able to get rid of the current, 30 days, 60 days, and 90+ days columns and just focus on the net balance. When data was transferred over to the new system, the new system set the clock at the time of entry, messing up the 30-60-90 days. So I threw away the 30-60-90 days comparison and just focused on the net balance. This change led to a much cleaner report and provided a quick snapshot of where the variances lie.

The really neat thing about the pivot tables that I created was that it very easily caught different names and name spellings, which might be important for banking and contractual purposes.

Lessons Learned

* Go ahead and send out something in order to generate some kind of response. Sometimes you just gotta get going.

* When someone takes the time to go over the materials, listen. This lady was kind enough to show me the history and the knowledge that she has.

* Then think in terms of simplifying things. They loved the pivot table because it was easy to read and provided a quick snapshot.

So this week, I can go through the rest of the reports and see where else I can help.

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