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Excel Activity

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I am reasonably new to Excel and have several spreadsheets where I'm looking at our departmental performance activity. Anyone know how I can get the best out of excel to see how we are performing. What do others do when looking at their overall performance when it comes to excel? cheers 🍻 

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  • Heedtheadvice
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    Firstly not specific to Excel....

    The key to performance monitoring is to know what you want to measure and knowing the quantitative or qualitative measures that signify performance targets.
    These measures can be levels of improvement/deterioration I.e. change, issues or complaints and their status or resolution, meeting particular targets such as sales numbers, activity levels, sickness days, throughput, budget spend , failure rates, new business, demand , exam passes, safety incidents, audit results etc. etc. Obviously theses measures depend upon the business involved and what's considered important.

    So really the key is to know what you are concerned with and then to capture the data on them over suitable time frames and record and then analyse/report. There are many specialised bits of software tailored to some activities but Excel is, being very flexible, well suited to a general bit of software that can do most if not all of the recording to reporting work such as tabular data capture, summation, counting, comparisons (against targets or as trends)analysis via pivot tables, charts, and overview sheets for reporting with conditional formatting of results with colour etc for 'tragic lights' or other highlighting. Lots of built in functions so you do not need to reinvent the wheel but capability of letting you do your own thing too. Lots available out in the world that can help you with task and much for free with many people to help, not only on this great forum!

    If you choose to use Excel it is important to start design with separate sheets for raw data/entry that can then be tailored for that, sheets for target data references and 'fixed things' like reporting status consistency such as comments, sheet(s) for  calculation and analysis plus reporting. This helps keep things compartmentalised to aid understanding 'fixed designs' of calc/analysis methods and operation data area and reduce introducing errors.
    It is also worth having a sheet for design and use notes so that others or even yourself further on in time have an aid to understanding when changes need to be made and recording what those changes are.

    Many start of trying to do too much on single sheets and not using descriptive names for cells, areas (ranges) or table but it is a habit that can lead to confusion that descriptive names help avoid especially when formulas are involved .
    Other admin type tasks such as backup and change tracking can be considered later but maybe should be implemented early to avoid losing your work!

    Last thing I will mention in this long post is to do data entries in the correct format: text as text I.e. general, numbers as numeric formats and dates/times in cells to hold date serial format. This all aids computations and should not be confused with how things are formatted for display purposes. All too easy to do data entry thinking  about the final report style rather than capturing data in a format and layout that makes producing the result easy to achieve.
    A bit more info on your performance tasks, data to be collected and aim will help reponses to be more specific.
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