Excel Plugin - Going further
Here we are. After learning the basis of the Excel plugin, you may wonder how to achieve some more advanced actions. This page will give you some ideas to go further with your knowledge of the plugin.
Data manipulation tips and tricks
Filtering / hiding and sorting
Despite the fact that you can only get sheets containing predefined data from projects or lists, filtering and sorting will allow you to get a quick view on all the relevant data for all your analysis.
It behaves exactly the same as in a classical Excel sheet. Click on the arrow next to a column title, for instance "category". Sort and filter it the way you want.
You can also hide columns by selecting them and click on "hide".
Adding multiple users or documents to a point / form
For some columns (like “user in charge”, documents, …) you will see that cells can contain multiple values. But, you have only access to a single dropdown. To modify these cells and, for example, link multiple users to a point, just get into the cell formula editor, hold alt and press enter to input a new line. Then, you will be able to add more data. You can also copy content from other cells.
Making comments on a point / form
LetsBuild has the powerful ability of making comments at any time, on all the remarks that you see on the field.
To make comments in the Excel plugin, just type anything you want in the comments cell and then, upload. All the content will not be overridden. Your comment will just be added next to all others.
Using the data from the plugin
Formulas and macros
The sheets produced by the plugin completely support any kinds of formulas and macros. It is not recommended to automatically update all LetsBuild data using macros, because it could harm the integrity of the content you have in LetsBuild. But, you can still use them to get insights from it (planning, dashboard, ...).
Make a planning
One good usage of the data produced by the plugin is for example, to make an easy to use project planning. Just adjust the dates (creation, due date, ...), and make a planning chart that reflects the way you work.
As you can see, there is already a bootstrap of a sample planning chart available at the right of all the information you have in your sheet. Adjust its style, color, formulas, and get the planning you want.
Make a dashboard
As your LetsBuild data is now in Excel, you can use it to make dashboards as well. Just create all your pivots, charts and custom formulas to automatically monitor your projects.
Understanding the upload errors
Sometimes, when you will upload your sheet, you may see some error messages popping. That is completely normal! In this case, LetsBuild cannot guarantee that the data you input in the sheet is:
- Valid for LetsBuild
- Uniquely understandable by the plugin
That is why you will sometimes have to face some error messages.
Let's see a simple example >>
On the message below, you can see that there was an error on line 5.
It states that the category does not exist. This is because someone changed the category of the point without updating the associated subcategory. By consequent, it is unable to push this data in LetsBuild.
Another error message can happen when LetsBuild is not able to find a unique entity for a given name. For instance, there, someone tried to link a point to a document called "Plan_LetsBuild"; but, as they are many documents with the same name, the plugin refused to push it to prevent linking it to the wrong one.
How to solve them?
After you tried to push those data, the plugin will indicate that some errors occurred during the upload.
Depending on the number of errors (smaller or greater than 5), the plugin will inform you that it either:
- Has pushed the sheet, excepted the failed rows
- Completely aborted the upload (if there are too many errors)
This means that if you download your sheet again, all the non-pushed data will be overridden with the correct information from LetsBuild.
If this is not what you want, you can either:
- Fix the data in the sheet (link to the correct category, change document name in the app, ...)
- Delete the failed rows, accepting that you will not change them.
Of course, if you do not understand one message, or if you need assistance on how to fix them, just reach our customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the green help button available everywhere in the app.
Typical LetsBuild Excel Plugin uses cases to improve efficiency
There are many ways to use the Excel Plugin. Depending on the way you work and the actions you would like to achieve, you can use the plugin in different ways to make you more productive in the environment you like.
This section will gather some successful use cases from our clients that are already using it. If you find something else that is interesting to share, feel free to contact us and make living the LetsBuild community.
Import historical data
In order to leverage all the possibilities of the plugin (dashboarding, planning, project management). You need, of course to have some data into LetsBuild to feed the spreadsheets.
If you are starting to use LetsBuild, you may not have such data to start working with.
LetsBuild Excel Plugin can help you, after setting up your project to import all historical data you have from previous existing systems, whether they are another CRM, spreadsheets, paper documents, or anything else.
Just translate everything into a plugin sheet and upload everything to LetsBuild.
Working with list patterns
Another use case of the plugin is the "list pattern". Depending on the sector you work in, the kind of projects you make, you may have some kinds of recurring pattern into your LetsBuild data.
Let's imagine that you work for a company building houses. Whatever the house you build, the process is always the same. First, you inspect the field, then, you make actions, and finally, you check that everything is OK.
All of those major actions can be predefined and copied from another project directly to the new one using the plugin. This will save you a lot of time and make your processes cleaner, easier, and more scalable.
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