How much time do you or your research team spend each week, working with data in Excel?
Good insight takes careful preparation: data need to be cleaned, re-shaped and summarised before the insights start to emerge. We all expect this to take the lion's share of time in any project. But why not automate and save time?
Automation may sound like a scary word to any human being with a job that would like to keep it, but learning to automate some of your most common data tasks can be seriously beneficial to both your organisation and your own job security! Some of the benefits of an automated reporting workflow over a manual one include:
It saves you time. Most people will feel like they don’t have the time they need to fulfill all that is asked of them at work. So if you can cut out the time taken on manual data processing and focus more analysis and insight, that can only be a good thing.
It reduces error. When your reporting relies on manual data entry and formula with hard-coded cell references, one typo or out-of-place number can lead to results that are way off the mark. Automating the process with a script will remove the possibility of human error completely.
It expands your visualisation options. Data prepared with code is ready to work much harder. Import easily into tools like Tableau (actually, don't: learn R Shiny which is superior and free); feed your data into the 'data lake' for analysts, or explore the wealth of data visualisation options available in R and other programming languages.