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This is where the right project management software tool shines and spreadsheets fade. A good project management tool will be database-oriented and should allow for different types of ad hoc reporting across multiple projects. This enables the mining of all kinds of data. You simply cannot do this in a spreadsheet at the same level. If you really really know what you are doing it is possible to tie spreadsheets together and generate some integrated data. But that is not the same thing. You simply cannot on a whim mine into the data represented in your multiple spreadsheets. And in today s environment this is critically important.
Here was a spreadsheet that had been created by someone with a good knowledge of formulas and functions. But... it was not obvious at first glance what to do with it. Do I click on one of these buttons? Do I need to enter some data? Where do I enter the data? On closer examination these were the problems that made it difficult to use: - There was no heading or title. - It was very dense in terms of the number of cells showing on screen. - Ranges of cells were formatted in five different colours. What did it all mean? - Help provided was limited to brief comments in some cells and some of these were in hidden columns. - The sections for data entry and the sections for results were not clearly separated. - Macro buttons were square in shape.
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This is a great setting when you are adding dates as well because it will place your data into whatever date format you prefer. Formulas Do not be afraid to take advantage of the formula options in Excel. You can make them as complex or as simple as you want or need. A very simple one is the SUM feature that will add a column of numbers for you and provide the total in whichever cell you specify. As the information in the cells changes the sum in the total cell will adjust accordingly. This is a great option for presenting budgetary numbers or inventory type items. There is a formula wizard which will help you string together any number of data sequences and configurations.