Project Description

Data Capture and Amalgamation Survey

The Challenge

Watts came to us with an old workbook, which was a survey document for quantity surveyors and admin staff to review properties. Seeing as how the main function of the workbook was handling large amounts of data, being efficient was a key priority.

The current state of the workbook was adding a strain across various departments, which required a certain manual element to remain functional. Being forced to manually validate and centralise data was a tedious job, especially with the vast options that Excel offers.

Down to the wide variety of optimisation aspects, a complete rebuild of the original tool was necessary in order to protect the data from any errors; ensuring validation so that the data centralisation could become automated.

The Solution

Through meeting with Watts to discuss a functional spec, we saw an array of opportunities to create the most impacting solution using VBA, data validation and amalgamation.

Using VBA, we were able to tailor processes; allowing current workbooks to achieve maximum data protection throughout all stages and projects. Although, we knew as a team that we could achieve more than just this, we worked around a rigid layout to achieve the automation and VBA that we were focusing on for the perfect result.

Working hand in hand with Watts, we easily bettered the generic survey templates available online, by increasing the level of validation that Watts now easily maintain whilst keeping flexibility with layout, collation and overall design.

The existing setup was having an impact on the business, with workbook management becoming a mammoth daily task. We used Excel in a tailored way to only refresh once prompted, thus saving time and using up less processing power.

The Results

Our time and effort paid off in more than just the desired aspects of the workbook. The solution made for more quality and accurate data, which was used to increase efficiency and accuracy in one move.

Along with this, the workbook data entry speed was increased drastically through automation processes; as was the speed of data checking. This was achieved through tailored error-handling processes that eliminated the need to double check data entry and validation, leaving a massive chunk of the work done by the workbook and VBA.

All together, merging hundreds of surveys into a central system had the biggest impact on efficiency, as time consumption was drastically cut; freeing them up again to get back on the more important tasks rather than organising files.

Down to the users interacting with the solution, one of the biggest results was making the workbook as accessible and digestible as possible, as both experienced, and inexperienced users needed to make the most of the optimised workbook. Quantity Surveyors are now able to use the simple, multi-platform dashboard anywhere.

Overall, around 12 hours of valuable time was saved by Watts after they put the workbook into action, which allowed them to shift that effort elsewhere. Not only this, but quantity surveyors are now able to cut the spreadsheet aspect of their job by 50%, through adapting this part of the job to be easily documentable. This allows the data to be entered straight into the spreadsheet.

The team at Bespoke Excel are extremely helpful often going above and beyond to meet extremely tight deadlines. I would certainly recommend Bespoke Excel to anyone needing expert professional assistance using Excel.

Andrea Jutrzenka, Watts Group Ltd

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