Background and objectives:
Most companies make extensive use of spreadsheets to store, work and share data internally.For years, Excel has been the main software that allowed people to share internal data. But using Excel for reporting has its drawbacks:
- First manually updating data into spreadsheets is time-consuming and takes a large amount of analysts’ time. Before automating much of the reporting I am responsible for, I was often spending well over 30% of my time pulling data from our database, inputting the updated dataset in a spreadsheet and wait until all computations were done.
- Manual reporting can lead to errors. Shifting the inputted data by one cell will yield wrong results and will trigger angry emails from decision-makers!
- Excel files are shared via emails as attached files. It is not uncommon for multiple versions of the same files to be shared in the organization. This can lead to confusions, miscommunication and loss in efficiency.
With its Google docs suite, Google has solved point 3) by giving anyone the ability to create online collaborative spreadsheets for teams to work on simultaneously, for colleagues to give comments and communicate with one another in one place without having to email different mark-ups back and forth.This post is about providing solutions to points 1) and 2) to help you reduce the amount of time you spend on reporting by showing a general procedure with OfficeSupplies dataset. This tutorial is based on what Pauline Glikman posted on Medium.com. Her tutorial is very good but I changed some parts that in my opinion could be improved.R allows for easy automation of the reporting process. This means that the analyst’s task of pulling data, making some computations, uploading it in a nice spreadsheets and emailing it to relevant business stakeholders can be completely automated in a single script. And because with the same script and the same dataset, you will confidently obtain the same reproducible results you will not have to worry about making errors anymore. So whether you are currently running a daily reports showing sales or service level, this post can help you improve your productivity.What we are gonna do is to create a template that you can use to send updated reports on a daily/weekly/whatever base.