Author Archives: everydayebl

April 16, 2020

What is Sales Data?


Our estate has a chat group to buy fresh seafood. The salesperson will deliver the stuff to our estate without delivery fees. This week, there is one group buy. When she tally the orders, I saw the order was written on a piece of paper. There is nothing wrong in writing the details on a piece of paper. It is still a sales record, hence, it is still a database. The problem with this approach is that when she needs to collect money from the customers, she will need to re-organize the orders all over again, this time by customers. 

A simple spreadsheet could have captured the details nicely. And if it is a shared worksheet, customers could still amend their orders on their own up to the order closing time. If she has used Excel, she could have pivoted the data and easily summarize the data by products/customers or by customers/products/total amount and avoid duplicate work.

This is just a group buy for one estate. If she has many such cases, she would have saved tons of time sorting out the orders. And over time, she could have created a long records to identify the product preference of customers in each estate and improve her product offering to each estate. 

Without the proper tools, she has wasted time and opportunity to serve her customers better and grow her sales exponentially.

What is a sales database?

Sales database is a record of sales activities. In its simplest form, it tells business owners and sales managers how many units of each products is sold and at what price.

But knowing these 2 column of information is not sufficient to grow the business. It is important to know who the products are sold to, on which day, the size, colour, location (if you have more than one sales locations), salesman who handled the sales. By gathering these information over time, business can offer more products that meet the customers preference and increase their sales over time. For small business owners who do not wish to spend extra on a sales system, Excel is a good tool to create the sales database and level the playing field with the big boys.

March 30, 2020

Free Online Training on Data Visualization with Power BI

Data Visualization Project

What is Data Visualization?

Data Visualization is to present your data in pictures. It makes complex data more accessible, understandable and usable. In today's context, data visualization has an added element of interactivity, where you interact with the picture for more details.

Who need Data Visualization?

People who use Data Visualization includes but not limited to business planning, sales and marketing, finance, logistics, healthcare, human resources, and politics. Contrary to normal perception, creating data visualization is not limited to experts. Anyone can create a data visualization, even with a small dataset.   

In this training, I am going to share with you can create data visualization with a small dataset to track the spread of COVID-19 in the different countries.

Who should attend this training?

This training is for these groups of people:

Business Planning Professionals - evaluate the viability of the plans proposed for the company

Marketing Professionals - evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns

Sales Professionals - identifies the top selling products in your area or your customers.

Finance Professionals - identify the profitability of the customers, goods and services.

Logistics Professionals - Tracking the supply of goods and services from multiple locations

Human Resources - tracking the recruitment and retention of good quality employees. 

Learning and Development professionals - identify the staffs who needs to be equipped with data visualization skills.

Why Covid-19 data?

We use Covid-19 data for the training because you do not have to put in extra effort to understand the numbers and it is real data which do not require any sanitization. It is also a simple set of data to use to learn about data visualization.

How is the online training conducted?

We have designed the online training by progressively introduce functions that are easy to implement and add on new functionality as we progress into the training. 

Outline of the online training

  1. Quick Orientation to Zoom
  2. How the training will be conducted?
  3. Layout of the COVID-19 data
  4. Creating the COVID-19 Data Visualization
  5. Questions and Answers
  6. What have you learnt from the training?
  7. What most trainers will not tell you about Data Visualization
  8. What is I2MAP Framekwork and why it is important.

Outcome of the training

At the end of the one hour training, you will be able to complete the data visualization shown below:

Details of the online training

Note: Please note that Video must be turned on during the training. DO find a spot when you attend the live online training.

Andrea Rinaldi

Andrea Rinaldi

Many thanks: I just want to tell you all my appreciation about the webinar on Power BI I had the opportunity to attend to, few days ago.

Being a newbie in this item it has been a very opportunity to me to learn something of very new and useful. Over all thanks to your so skilled and friendly explanations and I look forward to take part to any subsequent online meeting on this subject you had to schedule from now on, for what I 'll be so grateful to be kept duly up-to-date.

 Many thanks so far so good.

Register for the FREE online training below: 

March 19, 2020

My nightmare in budgeting


I walked into the M1 (MobileOne Pte Ltd) Office. It was 8.30am. Like everyone else, it was a normal daily routine. But for us in the business planning team, our working hours did not end at 5.30pm. We started to work on the budget from 5.30pm. It was like another part-time job but without additional pay. We would work till midnight before we headed home. By the time we reached home, our families were asleep. When we left for work the next day, they were still sleeping. This routine would continue for a month, 7 days a week.

That was the time when we used the traditional way to budgeting. We would link up all the cost center templates in one file and had a master template to add up all the numbers. Knowing that the management needed to see the breakdown for major expenses, we would start to link those costs together in advance so that we did not have to work longer hours later. But there were new items they would want to see. Sometimes, what we prepared in advanced were not used because the focus would change. So we would have done some "redundant" templates and had to create new ones on the fly.

Even though I had left M1, I did not stop exploring solution to shorten this exercise which still existed today. I wanted to help those who are not stuck in this situation. I am glad that I had found a great solution for this. With the new functions in Excel called PowerQuery, PowerPivot and PowerView (Power BI), I am able to shorten the whole exercise by 90%. Instead of days to consolidate the numbers, I can single highhandedly consolidate the numbers in hours and I have no worries that the numbers would change. Everything are consolidated dynamically and updates are just a few minutes away. 

Are you still budgeting in the traditional way? Share with me your challenges in the comments. I might be able to help you.

March 18, 2020

The first simple step to master data visualization


Data visualization is the in thing now when it comes to presentation. The pictures and graphics tells a story and it is interesting to look at. Management love the graphics and the fact that they can drill down for further information. 

Most people would jump right into a data visualization course hoping to produce the same type of visualization that is shown to them. I believe majority of them experienced a steep learning curve when they attended a 3-days course on data visualization. And it is not surprising to see most of them are unable to create a data visualization when they are back in the office. That is because the data that is used in the course is perfect. When they are back in the office, their data is not perfect. 

If you are currently experiencing that, I would advise you to review the layout of your data, the first simple step to master data visualization. If you are not laying out your data in the correct manner to begin with, you can forget about the final step in data visualization that is supposed to attract bells and whistles. 


March 17, 2020

7 simple steps to master data visualization


Step 1: Layout your Data

To effectively visualize your data, you need to arrange them in the correct layout. 

Step 2: Improve data quality

Dates, Text and Numbers are treated differently when you visualize data. You can't put them into the same column. For example, price column cannot have text like FOC or NA. Dates column cannot have text like Jan. It needs to be a proper date like 1-Jan 2020.

Step 3: Master pivot Table

Pivot Table is a good tool to help you learn the basics of visualization. If you can't visualize data with Pivot Table, you can't do it with others. And most people have not master Pivot Table yet.

Step 4: Merge and Append data

Some data needs to be merged while others have to be appended. Knowing the difference between 2 will make sure that you do not corrupt the data in the process of visualization.

Step 5: Simple Dax

DAX is used to summarize data beyond the simple sum and count available in Pivot Table. Learning DAX brings you into the next level of data visualization.

Step 6: Advanced DAX

Comparing data across periods requires the use the advanced DAX formula. It will help you compute MTD, QTD, YTD with the previous periods. It can even calculate the numbers for financial year that does not start from 1 Jan.

Step 7: Visualization

Visual representations of data, making complex info easier to share and digest. Once you have master the first 6 steps, you will be able to use different tools such as Power BI, Tableau or Qlik Sense for data visualization.