HOW TO COLLECT REPORTS USING
Typical way of collecting reports from departments or individual respondents
Collecting reports never been an easy task – the larger the company, the bigger its organizational structure is, including different departments and structural units and often it is necessary to collect information from employees and departments in remote locations. The usual way of collecting reports is by using Excel spreadsheets. Employees in remote departments filling out spreadsheets with data and then send them to head office using emails or by other means. Then these spreadsheets is processed manually to create consolidated reports.
This typical approach of collecting reports brings all too familiar problems: files is often lost, it is difficult to control data entry and validation workflow and it is even more difficult to create consolidated spreadsheets. It all results in delays, mistakes and most of the time is consumed by consolidating data received from different respondents from different departments.
This is how it typically looks like:
How to do it using Planchette Online
Planchette Online is a web service that automates most problematic tasks in the sequence – instead of filling Excel spreadsheets and send it via email, users simply fill out the same spreadsheets online. All information will be immediately saved in online database, ready to be displayed, validated and consolidated at any given time. Each given respondent, be it employee or department can access report from anywhere in the world, modify its data and send it to validation in a matter of minutes, while you will always be aware of the current status of each report.
Step 1. Create reporting form
Administrator creates reporting form from existing Excel spreadsheet or by using embedded Excel-like editor. Since Planchette Online is fully compatible with Excel, spreadsheet can contain any kind of formulas and data validation rules – it can be used to validate data and thus not let users to enter invalid values. Then administrator designate areas that will be available for editing – all other cells will be read-only, this will ensure that users will only be able to enter the data in designated cells and not to tamper with spreadsheet structure or cells formatting. Lastly, it is important to add respondents (it can be users or workgroups) and designate auditors. Now, reporting form is ready for input.
Step 2. Create reports
Reports can be created on any given date and each report has its status, so it easy to track current state of the report. Each user will see only relevant reports for respondents that needed to be corrected or validated, depending on current user permissions.
Step 3. Control data entry and validation workflow
Report can be in one of the several states, letting users to either edit its data or validate it. When report in correction state, approved users can enter new data into the report and then send it to validation. When report in validation state, other approved users can validate its data and send it back to correction, adding comments if needed, or approve it and thus locking its state. Process is simple and straightforward and can be easily understood by users. Any report can be downloaded as Excel spreadsheet any given time.
Step 4. Create consolidated reports
You can create consolidated report any time, using special analysis form. You can designate persistent criteria or use non-persistent filter to easily control collection of reports that is used for consolidated form or analysis.
With Planchette Online you will find your data gathering process streamlined and all your reports easily accessible.