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Consolidate Excel Files
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Advanced Consolidation Manager
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In these dire economic times, securing your job is a top priority.
Every day, the news is all about more job cutbacks being announced by companies large and small. And we are told to expect even more cutbacks in the future. It seems no job is secure. Maybe not even yours.
The advice is: secure your job. Typical techniques:
- show up early, stay late
- have more face time with your boss
- volunteer for projects
In short: do anything you can to improve how you appear in your boss’ eyes.
If you are an analyst or assistant who prepares spreadsheets that your boss (or other managers) depend on, here are some specific tips should consider.
You may be in charge of preparing a few of the Excel spreadsheets your boss depends on for management information. But maybe he’s getting information from spreadsheets submitted by other departments or staff. You’re just “a member of the team.”
But what if you were in charge of consolidating the data from all those other spreadsheets, together with your own? And what if you could effortlessly extract the most important pieces of information from all those Excel files, and assemble them into an Excel dashboard that you send to your boss every day?
Why, then your boss would read YOUR work first and foremost. He would rely on your dashboard as THE most important spreadsheet he receives.
Because from that dashboard, he sees all the important information he needs. Oh sure, if he has to drill down into the details, he will see the spreadsheets others prepared. But most of the time, your creation is all he needs to see.
You can achieve that objective with a 5-step plan:
- Start giving your boss a dashboard with all the spreadsheets you prepare for him. By putting the key charts and numbers on a dashboard, you make it easy for him to see the most important information without having to actually open large spreadsheets and wade through all the details. This also gives you an opportunity to add an insightful comment. Even a comment like "All the numbers look normal, today." helps your boss, because it saves him time and effort.
- Add spreadsheets you get from others to the dashboard. Adding more information to the dashboard makes you more valuable.
- Expand the dashboard to include spreadsheets you don’t get (yet). Once you have completed steps 1 and 2, try to get your boss to copy you on all other spreadsheets he receives, even if you don't receive them yet. Explain that this will allow him to receive a single dashboard with all the key numbers he needs. If you can convince him to do this, you will be the indispensable gatekeeper of all the Excel spreadsheets your boss depends on.
- Send the dashboard(s) as frequently as possible. If there is even one daily spreadsheet, send the updated dashboard daily. Not all the data needs to be updated every day, but the overall picture changes if even one of the elements of the dashboard is updated. That could affect the comment you add to the dashboard. You need to stay on top of your boss' inbox with your dashboard.
- Automate the construction of the dashboard as much as possible. You can't let the making of the dashboard an excuse for not doing the rest of your work. So, you need to be able to create the dashboard with as little time and effort as possible. Xcelential is a great way to accomplish this!
Most importantly, BE THE FIRST person in your group to do this. Only one person can be responsible for integrating all that data. Make sure it is YOU.
MORE DETAILS: Pro V.S. Standard Edition | Fight information overload from Excel spreadsheets | Enhancing Job Security with an Excel Dashboard? | BI dashboards and Xcelential are complementary technology and products | Why Managers Need a Personal Excel Dashboard | Xcelential Quick Visual Demo
Developers Site | Pro V.S. Standard Edition
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