Data Flows and Simple Tools

Data Flows and Simple Tools

Professional programmers look at your business as something like a chemical refinery. There are inputs (prospective customers, investment, [lots of] labour) and transformations, like chemical reactions, leading to products (physical products, or happy customers, or both) as well as waste products. It is in your best interest that the flow has as little turbulence as possible. Lean manufacturing is focused on reducing waste.

North Creek's first marketing tagline was "Let your business flow." I wanted to help you understand where data was being wasted in your business, where errors were creeping in, and how we could automate things to make your work easier.

Now I'm focused on creating a couple of products that will help you do that, without having to fly me in to walk you through the process. (You're probably a ways from Onoway, Alberta). We'll start small. If you, like most small businesses, use spreadsheets to track numbers or projects, CXL will help you by adding a layer of "adult supervision" over your spreadsheets. You'll have a history of what is changing. You'll have the ability to go back in time, or to branch a useful spreadsheet into another area.

But what could happen is that you'll start to see the data flow through your company. Spreadsheets filled with numbers change like crazy. If those numbers are the real description of what's happening in your company, then it's the flow of those numbers that we want to understand and manage.

I want to help you create tools that don't change, that help you get a consistent look at the data that does change. Good spreadsheet design gives you a place in the spreadsheet where data comes in, a place where calculations are performed, and a place where you look for the result. If those are all mixed together, it will be hard to manage the flow.

But the internet is full of people smarter than me when it comes to spreadsheets. Point me in the right direction - let's help each other!

Meanwhile, CXL will open it's beta in January. Sign up by emailing me, follow @NorthCreekSoft on twitter, like North Creek Software on Facebook.

"Let your business flow!" :-)

Categories: Business , Methodology