In order for an analyst to produce a deliverable for a client, they must send their requirements to a dedicated off-shore team, who are responsible for transforming the raw data into meaningful charts and dashboards. The deliverable is then sent back to the analyst for review, who will return it with feedback and tweaks, and the process iterates until the deliverable finally reflects what the user is looking for. This process is time-consuming and it can be difficult for the analyst to have precise control over the look and feel of the final product.
The Desired Outcome
It was clear that efficiency could be improved by empowering the analysts to easily create their own charts and dashboards. The desire was for a tool to be developed using software that the analysts were already familiar with, to minimise training requirements. Flexibility was a key requirement: once the output was generated, the analyst should be able to easily customise any part of it, from layout to formatting. The solution should also be able to export the dashboards generated into MS PowerPoint format, so they could easily be pulled together for a client.
It was quickly determined that Microsoft Excel would be the most appropriate platform for the solution, due to Nielsen’s existing API, allowing MS Excel to connect directly to its proprietary databases, and Microsoft Excel's native compatibility with Microsoft PowerPoint. We focussed on developing a system which clearly differentiated inputs, processing and outputs. This way the user would not be overwhelmed by the flexibility of the tool, but would still be able to get all the data they needed.
By creating an Excel-based tool that integrates with Nielsen's proprietary API, their teams across the globe have realised the following benefits:
- Rapid production - users can now create client-ready outputs with the click of a few buttons, allowing them to spend more time on generating insights.
- Consistency - by allowing analysts to select from a set of pre-built templates, the look-and-feel of the client outputs are much more consistent.
- Sharing of best practice - templates can be customised and shared with others, enabling the dissemination of best practice.
- Flexibility - users can customise the pre-built templates using Excel's built-in editors for fonts, colours, shapes and conditional formatting.
The solution empowers Nielsen's analysts to rapidly produce client-ready presentations, and is being used by several teams across the globe.
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