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18 Aug 2015

Drowning in Spreadsheets? You need magic!

August 18, 2015Blog

We spend a lot of time helping customers track data for their asset intensive businesses. Their industries range from Energy, Oil and Gas, Pulp and Paper, Construction, Mining – you name it.  One thing our customers all share: some, if not all, of their asset data is stored in spreadsheets. Don’t get me wrong, we love spreadsheets. They are instrumental in helping many businesses track information, and that is a step forward. However, they can have serious limitations.

The trouble with spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are great at sums and numbers, but they are not databases. Frequently, standard spreadsheet formats are used as a way to load key data into operational EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) systems. But this is where the wheels can come off. Look, standard spreadsheet formats are great at telling you what needs to be collected, but they can’t help with data quality and integrity. They are highly susceptible to the problem of “Garbage in”.  Spreadsheets just don’t deal well with duplicate, incomplete, inaccurate, or just plain missing data. They also fail miserably in what a database developer might call referential integrity, normal forms, and verification. Acceptable data ranges and standard EAM table values are difficult to check, and often the spreadsheets are prepared by third parties who don’t even know the formats that operational EAM systems will accept.

Sound familiar?

If this problem sounds familiar, and your business is drowning in bad spreadsheet data that you are trying to load into your EAM system, we can help. NRX AssetHub can perform a little magic. It can verify if the spreadsheet data you are trying to load into your EAM is accurate enough to be accepted. It flags and scores data integrity problems. If you want, it can even help you iteratively improve data quality and completeness. You can then export the verified data into the standard spreadsheet format of your choice for further augmentation and processing. We are not against spreadsheets; we are against bad, unverified data in spreadsheets.

If NRX AssetHub sounds like it might help save your asset intensive business from drowning in spreadsheets, give us a call, send us some of your sample data, and we will show you some magic.

Yes, I Need Some Magic!

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