The power of the short data demo
In a talk about visualising data, a short data demo made a world of difference.
The question came from a member of the audience who wanted to know how she could make more sense of the numbers in her company’s accountancy package. She was using Freshbooks, but her question could apply equally well to Xero, Quickbooks, Freeagent, & many more.
These low cost packages are fine for providing the numbers behind the business, but not so good at telling you what’s going on – whether there are important trends, a movement in numbers that heralds something odd going on, a pattern that can be relied upon when forecasting.
A short demo afterwards involved the transfer of numbers from her Freshbooks account to an Excel workbook, and then the creation of a series of Pivot Charts that revealed new insights and breathed life into the numbers.
The demo was no more than 10 minutes, but it transformed her ability to dig into numbers and to explain what was happening in her business. It also left her with new skills that would always serve her well.
It served as a great reminder that, when it comes to data, perhaps technology in general, the best form of training comes in the form of short, practical experiences that answer a question or solve a problem.
For the audience, blocks to progress are removed, new possibilities emerge, self-confidence grows.
Because the demo worked so well, we videoed a repeat performance shortly afterwards. We had to use a different accounting package, Xero on this occasion, but the steps involved were the same as those demonstrated on the day.
In this short video we take you through how to use Excel to get data insights from your accountancy software.