Tiny Smooth Brain

Wahhhhhh! Excel melted my brain. *sniff* Smoothed it right out too, poor plork.

Monday I found out that The Giant Ants want to start collecting monthly statistics. Which is theoretically no big since I enter the stats monthly anyway, but way back when They told me “yearly!” so I created this Excel deelie that handles spitting out a yearly report like a dream. There are nine separate statistic sheets with a bajillionty different numbers per page and twelve months of reporting. So I thought, “Hey. Why don’t I just go down the stats sheets listing the stat name in the first column? Then column ‘B’ can be July’s stats (the beginning of the fiscal year), and ‘C’ can be August and so on. Then when I need to gather the year end data, I just sum up row 58 and wala! I’ll have all the Student Project Hours. Genius!”

And it was too. The first sheet is my raw data entry and simple number manipulation sheet (some of the stats are really numbers from several different sources which need to be combined to produce a meaningful total number) and the following sheets are the report sheets. They pull from the raw data sheet and wala! Report.

But. This method isn’t so good at taking a snapshot of a month for each statistic so I’ve had to do a little dinking to rework it. The Giant Ants want the monthly report to have “Fiscal Year Brought Forward” (all the stats up to but not including the current month), “Added this Month” (duhhh), and “Year to Date” (everything! Hooray!). Year to date is easy; just add the FYBF number to AtM number and wala. “Added this Month” wouldn’t be so bad either because it should be as simple as “This number? This month? Report it!” Should. As in, if I didn’t have a whole pack of multi part stats I could just point the monthly report sheet to the month and be done with it. Sadly, out of the 115 different bits of data, only 15 of them are not combo stats. I had a tiny sniffly meltdown when I realized that, but I rallied. After all, I was working with Excel and manipulating numbers, how bad could that be?

I spent an ungodly amount of time Wednesday dinking with this project and trying to get a system streamlined to produce a yearly report to also spit out monthly reports. I worked on this puppy for most of the day because I had seriously underestimated the amount of time it would take me to whip up a monthly report. Every time I figured out an answer, it turned out to be a little more complex than I thought. FY Brought Forward had to have its own monthly matrix since there was no easy way to wrangle out a number that was only calculated up to a certain point. So I created a little by month portion of the raw stats page and everything was good. Then there were the average per month number, which made no sense on a by the month basis but say. Average per DAY would tell us something. Buuuuut…if you are doing a FY to date and an average per day, you have to take into account how many days have gone by so far in the FY. ARRRGH.

When 4:00 rolled around my brain shut off the math section and refused to turn it back on. It was all “Dude, we’ve been SUMming and ROUNDing and AVERAGing for six hours now. I’ve had enough.” Poor brain. All smooth and hurty from having to think about where the numbers were coming from, which numbers were being added together, if the right numbers were being used. It doesn’t even like simple math and I had it thinking for most of the day. Thus I went home drooly and stupid but I *think* I might have a prototype monthly report. Either that or I have complete gibberish. At least something is adding and summing so there is that.


Last year at the booniverse: BTW, I made up Tiny Smooth Brain so if you’ve heard it elsewhere remember: I’m the horse’s mouth.

Last last year at the booniverse: There is a line that goes something like “Someone mails you a coffin, what do you do?” Doesn’t that beg for a follow up of “If you return it to sender, go to page 45. If you open it up, go to page 50”?

The year before at the booniverse: On one hand it feels like we failed the parent test, on the other hand babies usually don’t eat their beds when you leave them alone for a couple of hours.

The year before that at the booniverse: Wait a minute, that doesn’t seem right. Did I just call myself a horse?

In the past at the booniverse: Today’s wonderful topic for your intellectual edification is…ummm…well I don’t have one yet.

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