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There are better ways to use 50% of the time

As spreadsheets are easy to start with and learn, there is a huge number of businesses that use them for keeping records and data analysis. The results are further used for predictions and decision making - definitely very important, sometimes even mission critical tasks.

On these terms, it is quite scary that more than 90% of spreadsheets contain errors. As might be expected, nobody wants to make predictions and decisions based on wrong data, and the only way to minimize errors is to introduce policies and guidelines on how to create and manage spreadsheets. Unfortunately, you can’t get that for nothing. And what’s the price? Your own time. Your most precious resource.

According to a study conducted as a part of the Spreadsheet Engineering Research Project, a majority of users spends up to 50% of their time working with spreadsheets. Unless the person’s job belongs to the field of data analysis, that number is really high. We think that the main cause is a typical spreadsheet lifecycle which has seven interconnected stages, each of them requiring non-trivial effort:

The first step requires you to at least briefly design your spreadsheet even before you actually create it, so you can avoid changing it later. However, we all know that a spreadsheet report is not etched in stone, it rather resembles a living organism. There will always be something to change or add and the software you use has to encourage it, instead of forcing you to know almost everything in advance.

Another time-consuming step is documentation. Mostly, the data is not self-explanatory and you or someone else will have to use them again in future. But the spreadsheet itself knows nothing about the meaning of the data. If there is no documentation, there is no understanding. What if the software you use would know something more about your data than just letters and figures, so you don’t have to write extensive documentation?

What about the team work? We don’t consider emailing file attachments and maintaining multiple historical copies an option. In today’s world, collaboration is a must and if your software supports it in real time, it saves your time.

We believe that software must adapt to your processes, not vice-versa, and that’s the way we build Lumeer. Because there are so many better ways to spend 50% of your time than fighting with your software.



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 …

How to effectively search and publish townhall meeting's resolutions

In previous posts, we created invitation to a townhall meeting and added minutes and comments. The collections are now filled with data and we will show you how to search those data and easily export them into publishable form.

After every townhall meeting, the municipality has to publish the resolutions which were approved during the meeting. To achieve that, we first search for the data we need by using Lumeer’s search box. We adjust the filters, hit enter and immediately see all resolutions from particular meeting.

We see the result of the search in table perspective, but we switch it to smart document perspective and produce the list of resolutions in a similar way that we have created the invitation.

Of course, we can choose how we want to export the document. Do we want to print it? Then we use export to PDF. Do we want to publish it on municipality’s website? We can put the PDF there, or, even simpler, we just put there the link to document which points directly to Lumeer, where t…

How do you search for your data in company IS?

“I need to look up that information.” This situation comes countless number of times every day and it’s not something people are used to look forward to. Looking for a particular piece of information often becomes a stressful and time-consuming procedure with uncertain result. You need to go through a number of systems – e.g. email, wiki, document server and other sources which are independent and not connected in any way. What’s more, in every of these sources, you have to be very concrete about what and where are you going to search for. Even if the data is stored in a typical information system or a spreadsheet, you need to specify the table and only after that you can get to the right report and finally see the data in the context.

But what can you do in the case you are not so sure about what exactly you are looking for and where it is stored? How can you do it without spending precious time trying to work out all the details?

Lumeer provides a solution to all these problems with …