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Do you accept 94% probability of an error?

It is an undeniable fact that spreadsheets are one of the most frequently used types of software. Just Excel alone has 750 million users, as Microsoft reports, and there are also other software solutions that share a portion of the market, such as Apple Numbers or Google Sheets. Those outstanding numbers show that spreadsheets have become a de facto standard for data analysis and manipulation and are widely used by businesses of all sizes from small to big, municipalities and other government organizations.

With that in mind, it is easy to imagine the tremendous impact that can be made by errors in spreadsheets. Unfortunately, those errors exist and are very common. And this is not just an assumption, there has been an actual scientific research and a number of papers was published on the subject. The errors were categorised in many ways, from hard-coded constraints, wrong formulas, forgotten rows to corrupted links. Researchers developed an auditing protocol and applied it on 50 real-life spreadsheets from various sources (consulting company, bank, college etc.). The results are quite disturbing: only 3 of 50 spreadsheets were without error, which means that 94% of spreadsheets contain errors.

It is hard to believe that so many people and organizations rely on such a risky tool. There is even a scientific group maintaining a list of “horror stories”, real-world cases and examples of how errors in spreadsheet caused several damage, mostly (but not only) financial. High fines, disrupted investors’ confidence and millions of dollars lost, these are just some of the consequences of forgotten minus signs, too many zeros at the end of the number or manually copied data.

Although spreadsheet software itself offers many powerful functions, it lacks means to verify and control the relationships between the data that are inserted, processed and analyzed. What is more, those means aren’t just something that can be added or plugged in in future. There aren’t any such means of control because the actual nature of spreadsheets, the way they are and work, doesn’t allow that kind of control. The only way to maintain data integrity is to use guidelines and methodologies, but another research shows that the majority of users states that “common sense” is their main testing method. This proves that, rather than to force users to follow guidelines and formal procedures, we have to build software which does it for them. We give you Lumeer, because we think that software is there to help you get your work done. Effectively. With minimum risk. And with great results.



How to create a comprehensive overview of job postings

Managing information about two or three job postings at your company is easy and can be done even in some simple tool or spreadsheet. However, as the number of postings, candidates and other information grows, it becomes increasingly difficult not to get lost in the data and maintain a clear overview. There are candidates with their names, addresses and positions they are applying for. There are also job postings with salaries and managers who want to hire people for those positions. Those pieces of information are related to each other and we will show you how to effectively manage and view them with Lumeer. As Lumeer allows us to put similar data to collections, we will want to store information about candidates, job postings and company’s employees in separate collections. It’s the most intuitive way because candidates have similar attributes, e.g. name, address, phone number or the date they applied for a job at the company. On the other hand, postings have their names and salaries…

How to track and manage your suppliers

Whether it is construction, manufacturing or digital services, supplier management appears in every business field. You need to track your suppliers and orders either for materials, tools or office supplies, and it can surely become a mess. In this article, we will show you how Lumeer will help you store and see all the information in one place.

We will use a chemical laboratory as a model example, but don’t worry, you will see that the supplier management principles are the same across all industries. We identified three basic entities: suppliers, orders and inventory items. Let’s create a collection for each one of them (if it’s the first time you are creating a collection, First time in Lumeer article can help you with that):

Then we fill the collection with all the items that we obtain from our suppliers:

And also with our suppliers:

Now we have two tables, but they don’t give us a complete picture, because they are missing the information about which supplier to contact when ordering…

How to track tasks for employees?

When multiple employees work on multiple projects, even in a small company it can easily happen that you lose track of who is doing what and on which project. However, it is very important to have quick and easy access to this kind information: you want to know progress on a project to plan for the future release, or you want to see if employees have some spare capacity or are too overwhelmed by the workload. 
Maybe you feel that all that information is being lost in a pile of spreadsheets and emails. They are all there, but to access them means to spend precious minutes or even hours on searching the documents, every time. You wish to have everything in one place, with every question about current status or capacity answered within seconds and with just a few clicks. You want to easily make changes that are smoothly and automatically propagated to relevant people in the company. In this article, we will show you how to achieve this with Lumeer.
After we login into Lumeer, we create …