The Applecado blog
Ten Years of Applecado: 2018 – Collaborative Data Analysis Tool (9/10)
We are nearly at the end of our ten year review, this week we’re looking back at a data analysis and collaboration tool we produced for the Education Development Trust.
Applecado were really excited to be approached by the Education Development Trust about their ideas for a new online tool that replaced numerous spreadsheets.
There are so many great benefits from taking any manual processing, paperwork or workflows and replacing them with an online system, such as:
- allowing multiple people to access and update at once
- recording who accessed a system or made updates
- various access levels depending on role permissions
- access from anywhere on multiple devices
- automated notifications
- easier report generation
- reducing time on data entry
- reducing human error, and so on.
The Education Development Trust had a previously spreadsheet based comparison tool that allowed a small group of education professionals to compare performance and identify areas to be worked on.
The problems and solutions:
1. Keeping this sort of data and sharing data entry meant taking turns or keeping a very close eye on the most up-to-date version to avoid overwriting or missing data.
Our system assigns groups of users to collaborate, tiered access gives one person permissions to add and manage other people in their group. Any number of people can add their data at any one time without any effect on previously saved information.
2. Adding data was time consuming, and sometimes required people to look up old results or answers.
The system can auto-populate answers from previous entries if they are needed repeatedly. Each step is broken down into sections and questions, progress can be saved easily if they don’t have enough time to answer everything in one sitting.
3. Reporting could only be done once everyone had completed the spreadsheet, reporting and analysis required someone to manually take that step.
Notifications are sent from the new system, encouraging people to submit their answers in time. Extra reminders can be triggered manually as well, and as soon as the answers have all been saved, the system can run various reports, produce graphs and save in easy to access PDFs and exportable CSVs.
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