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Too Much Data for One Cell…….

April 5, 2012 6:41 pm

 As a business analyst, I have been involved with many projects at many different companies. During the process analysis phase of these projects, one thing seems to always be true – users love their spreadsheets!  And in those spreadsheets there’s always the issue of scrunching data.  Users create a spreadsheet to capture information about a particular topic.  They have ONE row in their chart allocated to a tracking the status of a particular item, (style, fabric, color, whatever….). In that one row, there are so many things to capture that their spreadsheet ends up looking like a proverbial 10 lbs of stuff being jammed into a 5 lb bag!  

Too 1

Why do we always try to put so much data into one little cell?  How on earth are we really going to be able to analyze data when we have a HUGE text field housing most of the important stuff?   I feel like this is an issue most people can relate to, in many different aspects of our spreadsheet lives.

Intellimas has a new feature in release 3.1, called ‘Sub-Entities’, that can help with just this type of issue.  Your main entity may have many columns.  Those columns will represent different aspects of what you are tracking….testing, samples, approvals and the like.  Sure, I could make the same mistake in Intellimas that I did in the original spreadsheet and add a comment and/or memo field to hold my specifics of these items OR I can add a subentity.


A Sub-Entity is a popup window that can be associated with each sample line in your tracking.  My example below is for style testing.  I have one sample line for each piece I test.  I can simply indicate that the sample passed or failed……but is that really enough?  I don’t think so.

Too 2

Here is where we can use the Sub-Entity.  This sub-entity is designed to hold ALL the tests done and the results of my garment testing for each sample.  So now, I know it failed AND I know what it failed for and what the results of that failure are.  And Imagine this – running an actual report on ALL items that failed for the same reason!  Imagine having to compile a report from this spreadsheet cell (or even having to rummage through emails and actual printed test reports to get the data).


Now that data is in a database and can be retrieved for purposes of analyzing the testing requirements (are we too strict), analyzing vendor performance when it comes to testing (is one vendor a habitual failure on a certain test) and general reporting needs for compliance purposes.


Why not think about how else you might be able to use subentities?
-BOM Costing (roll up to a CMT)
-QA Evaluations (record each sample measurement, record each workmanship item results)


The possibilities are endless.  Learn more about Intellimas on our website

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