Excel is Pain in the Proverbial - Part 2

We're going to need a bigger whiteboard

We started by reviewing all of the spreadsheets we were using every day - not the ad-hoc 'let me create a quick table to add this up' type of spreadsheet - just those that we update and use to track things like sales, customers, costs, time sheets etc., you know, the ones where we have nightmares of losing.

Everyone took screen prints of the spreadsheets they were using and pinned them to the whiteboard.  It was clear after about 30 minutes we were going to need a bigger whiteboard.

What became clear was there was a lot of duplication - a lot of the spreadsheets had the same fields - Customer, Product, Location, and Project were the most common. But guess what, everyone had there own way of entering this data on their spreadsheets.  For Project, some had the reference number, hyphen, project name some just had the project name and customer name.  We had created our own little cottage industry in naming conventions.

Once we had some commonality in the field names, we then mapped them to existing fields in Odoo.  We made a bit of a game of this to see how quickly we could find the Odoo field to match the Excel field - I hadn't realized how competitive the team really are.  As the noise level rose, the fields got mapped and before long we had a pretty comprehensive list.

It turned out that we found a match for 95% of the fields in Odoo - standard, out-of-the-box Odoo.

For the remaining 5% we took a critical look to see if they were really that important - guess what, 3% weren't.  So that left us with 2%.  These were important fields for data that we wanted to continue collecting so we used the Odoo Studio app to create them.

Now we had all of the fields a growing Odoo integrator could ever need, we needed to start using them.

Read Part 3 - Wash, wash, wash your data, clean, clean, clean your data

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