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New Contract Job with a need to track time and motion leading to reporting and analysis using Libre Office Calc and SQL


by Mountain Computers Inc, Publication Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023

View Count: 207, Keywords: SQL, Programming, Reporting, Hashtags: #SQL #Programming #Reporting

One must have a good understanding of SQL fundamentals to understand how reporting dashboards work in how to display information both at a high level and low level; the ability to drill down and into top level charts and graphs and look at data and analyze methodically.
Well, to start off, this last week, I did something that dated back to my first Microsoft days, weeks and months. Once I realized the access to normal tracking tools, login, permissions, tools, etc. were going to be accessible for quite a awhile, I opened up an Excel spreadsheet (actually Libre), created some columns and heading based on my contract project activities I was tasked and challenged to accomplish in a very short and brief amount of time.
The great part was there was no real starting point other than look around and figure out who needs help the most and who has been waiting for a long time.
This same situation happened at Microsoft in a weird kind of way. At first my work in support was pretty basic with limited tools, processes and background.  At first, my focus was pretty good yet the more I was increasing my ability to deliver results, others noticed and leveraged my helpfulness quickly. I like being helpful. Yet, I kept getting pulled away from my core responsibilities by senior members and that impacted my performance by 20-30%.
Of course, at first, you don't notice it until a few weeks to a month passed at my first job at Microsoft and my performance metrics were in question. The cool part was realized the situation as it quickly developed weeks prior, I did the Excel spreadsheet tracking of my interruptions. Ergo, I was able to demonstrate and share my own activities which proved valuable to my management to demonstrate I was on my tasks, priorities, achieving my results and time tracked as well as supporting "other duties" and "senior team member support." A win-win-win!
Well, I did the ole Excel time tracking of activities (almost like time motion studies) in this last week and to me, it worked, and the folks I worked with appreciated my attention to documentation and detail, and staying on point.
So where is this going? Well, a spreadsheet is just a spreadsheet until you need to adopt it formally or switch to a tracking system with metrics and reporting built in. If you don't have that, its best to move from an Excel based solution to a light database solution like Microsoft Access or something open source.
That is what comes next? Lots of tasks become evident projects both small and large. Resources and support while limited if not nearly absent needs to be patched up and filled in with short term stop gap measures. Be sure to measure, calculate, report and follow-up. Ongoing continuous improvement is essential and its best to track as much as possible, good, bad and indifferent. Once you get any type of support, then share your data and hopefully it will back feed into normal systems, applications and tracking to give you benefits and rewards for ones due diligence. What is reasonable and prudent for support is excellence and continuous feedback.
Stand by for the next step: SQL, know SQL, because the larger your data grows, the more you need to analyze it quickly and with formulas, math, and statistics. Ask a question of your data and get a good answer for a business question.
REF 1:  https://www.libreoffice.org/discover/calc/

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