Simplifying processesTime saving through automation / digitalisation
An existing client has contacted us and asked for help.
Every year they have to merge and compare data coming from multiple sources and in different formats (Excel, text files, CSV files). This data is then analysed and at the end a report is produced comparing the data, at a glance.
Currently, this work is done manually, using Excel. This is a very time-consuming and repetitive task.
The question was whether we could automate this process so that the staff could devote their time to other tasks.
Spoiler alert! Yes, we could 😊
Every month, our client receives over 40 text files. Some of them have to be compiled at the end of the year, others per trimester, semester or even every 3 months.
The data is then completed and calculated with information from another data source. These calculations are in turn transferred to a file with data coming from yet another data source, where they are then compared.
As you can see, the topic is very complex and therefore you can imagine that it takes a lot of time to perform these steps manually, even if you use formulas in Excel.
Since the data comes from different sources and there are different file formats, several challenges arose with this.
For example, there is the fact that the separators of the numbers are not the same in all files. This causes problems when evaluating and calculating.
Or that, depending on the settings in Windows, the separators of a date are different, or that Excel tends to interpret strings as numbers instead of text.
All this is monitored in our programming and adapted accordingly, so that the file can also be executed on different PCs without the user having to adapt anything.
According to their own information, our programming saves the customer about 2 weeks. That is 10 working days that the users can spend on other activities.
Another advantage is that this simplification will in future make it possible to carry out calculations in between in order to do spot checks. Thus, it is possible to work proactively and possible differences in the data records are not noticed at the end of the year, when it becomes stressful to get corrected data that is needed for the accounting.
It always makes us very happy when we can help our customers to simplify their work and we thank you very much for your trust.