Home / Data / That Phrase: Learn Something New

That Phrase: Learn Something New

Learn SomethingThey say that you should always keep learning and while I agree with it in principle, it can be difficult to do along with all of the other shoulds (network! do social media! exercise! cook fresh food! do LinkedIn everyday!). But I’m still trying.

This past week I went back to the project that has a lot of data and I’m trying to use Access to speed up some things. This time though, I wasn’t sure whether I could make Access work in a timely manner so I went back to Excel to make sure I pulled up the results properly.

And I learned a couple of interesting things.

I relearned the idea of always try to find an alternative method of calculating so you can double check your results. I had created a formula to pull out certain data and it seemed okay, but I was kind of hesitant with it. At the time, I couldn’t think of an alternative route and the results seemed to work, so I went with it. It was not until the next day that I thought of an alternative route and found that I came up with slightly different numbers. Oops. I had to dig in to set what was different and which approach was better. I ended up re-doing quite a large part of the work.

This incident was also a reminder that sometimes your solutions will come later, so you just have to put it aside, but you must make sure to revisit the problem.

The other thing I learned is: how you slice your data can make a difference in the results. If I had cut out a bunch of data before creating that formula, I would have had a totally different result. Whether it would be correct, I can’t say but it would have been different. So I have to keep in mind how and when I cut out data can make a difference. That was very interesting to learn.