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Construction Project Management: Stop Using Spreadsheets

Having and maintaining accurate, up-to-date employee data is crucial in the construction business. If your business is rapidly growing (like so many other construction companies in the Dallas area where HingePoint is headquartered) and you’re onboarding employees, vendors, and contractors, accurate data on who your employees are and what they are working on is critical for success. Although it sounds like a simple task, project management for construction companies can be quite challenging and lead to more serious issues if not managed properly.

The Spreadsheet Problem

Many of our clients in the construction industry previously used Excel spreadsheets to manage their financial data, employee data, project status, and assets. Some were using old versions of SharePoint with unorganized data. When working with software and older systems, data about employees are prone to be full of errors (out-dated and inaccurate). The trick is to get up-to-date, accurate information out of your data management system instead of old, error-prone data. Spreadsheets are great tools for handling smaller and more manageable datasets. But what happens when you start hiring 10, 100, or even 500 employees at a time while managing employee data in a spreadsheet or in multiple, unstructured databases? It gets unmanageable - fast. As your construction business grows, more departments need human resource employee data because more information is attached to each employee. And soon, just having the right name, address, phone number, and social security number across the enterprise become more challenging if you don’t have the right controls and organization. If this data is in an actual spreadsheet, then anyone can enter and change data in that workbook. (See: Why spreadsheets don’t manage big data sets well)

The Situation

For example, a manager could get access to a Human Resource spreadsheet with employee names and other important information. Let’s say the manager has an employee named Suzanne, but she likes to be called Suzy. The manager changes the data because they can and there are no restrictions preventing it. But there is a big problem. Now the source data – the system of record – is not consistent/accurate. Suzanne will be called different names in different versions of spreadsheets. (Check out our FREE eBook on The Secret To Systems Integration: The System Of Record.) Throw time in there, too. Perhaps “Suzy” is a contractor who is keeping her time in a spreadsheet that gets sent to her manager. The manager sends Suzanne’s hours and all contractors to Human Resources so they can get paid. The manager’s project data is being merged with HR’s data. The problem is that we have two different names in the system. “Suzanne” and “Suzy”. No VLOOKUP formula or Pivot Table is going to solve this. It’s going to take someone to manually go in and fix the data. This might not seem like a big deal, but as the company grows, these smaller errors will multiply in other departments. Once this happens, the employee data cannot be trusted, and it will take a lot of manual work to fix the errors each pay period. The data problems can become so big that businesses end up just not trusting their data, causing a lot of rework, manual data entry, etc.

The Solution

A lot of construction companies we work with the hope that the software an IT company is going to install will solve the data problem. Unfortunately, this just adds another layer of complexity to the original problem. The problem that needs to be solved is how you're going to clean up your data, actually collecting it, and then showing it in a way that lets you see the data in a new light. Ideally, you want to make decisions with information that automatically reports to you. Seeing year-over-year and month-to-month views of data can quickly identify trends. With the right devices collecting the data and the right systems transposing it into information, humans can focus on making strategic decisions that will make their customers happy. That is how technology should work. And that what HingePoint can help you acheive! If you're looking to solve your company's HR and Project Management employee data problem, we'd love to hear what you're looking to accomplish! Feel free to start a live chat with our solution consultant on this page, email us, or call us at (214) 301-0000 to get started today. --

About HingePoint

HingePoint offers cloud and mobile applications for construction and real estate that are easy to adopt and employees love. Specializing in the systems that run the construction and real estate business including SharePointSalesforceProcoreMS Dynamics, and Autodesk. Scale and grow profitably with Financial and Project Management Dashboards, document management, and workflow automation for field to office collaboration. HingePoint 8105 Rasor Blvd. Suite 241 Plano, TX 75024 (214) 301-0000 www.hingepoint.com [post_title] => Best Practices for Construction Companies to Control Employee Data [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => best-practices-for-construction-companies-to-control-employee-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-22 00:34:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-22 05:34:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/?p=14266 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13245 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-12-08 03:11:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-08 09:11:15 [post_content] => There are many reasons why your organization's SharePoint database doesn't have the clean and trustworthy data you need to run your business efficiently. Most businesses realize the data and documents you store in SharePoint are extremely important. For example, SharePoint is probably your "system of record" for marketing data and customer data. It may even run the company's intranet (containing things like human resources policies, IT procedures, your team document libraries, etc). Project collaboration, issues tracking, and task management critical to operations may be in your SharePoint system. Our customers turn to HingePoint because they struggle to keep pace and organize SharePoint. They may have even outsourced the development of SharePoint in the past, but it still isn't working as efficiently as the Microsoft commercials lead you to believe is possible.

4 Reasons Why You Might Not Have the SharePoint Data You Need

1. The Data Doesn't Exist

Management or associates may assume you have information about your processes and training, but in some cases, it literally may not exist yet. Nobody has created it and put it in SharePoint. This may sound obvious, but it's something to consider. For example, one of our customers wanted to know what projects everyone was working on. They did not understand why they could not see that level of detail. The reason? They didn’t have tools that were collecting that information. We integrated T-Sheets with SharePoint and now they have that data.

2. Dirty Data

Your SharePoint data may not be "clean". What is clean data? Clean data is properly organized, fully filled in, accurate, and searchable. SharePoint lists and syncing Excel Sheets into SharePoint may result in incomplete or inaccurate data. This is especially the case if employees don't fill it out accurately and/or you don't have a data management and data quality process in place.

3. Downstream Data

In some cases, you may be pulling in data from a downstream system such as a CRM (like Salesforce or Siebel), financial system (like Sage), or project management system . If the data isn't accurate or clean in that system, then you are importing dirty data from other systems into SharePoint.

4. SharePoint Graphics and Charts

SharePoint has great list views, teams’ sites, and tasks lists, but it doesn't have the best chart and graphic capabilities. So, you may have the data in SharePoint, but you just can't seem to find it if it's not visually presented on the screen. There are many ways to enhance SharePoint with BI (business intelligence) tools like Tableau. See examples in the screenshots below. HingePoint can show you how! [post_title] => 4 Reasons You Don't Have Clean SharePoint Data [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 4-reasons-you-dont-have-clean-sharepoint-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-20 23:52:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-21 05:52:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/blog/sharepoint/sharepoint-online-and-office-365-ingredients-for-the-perfect-intranet-copy/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12961 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-07-17 11:30:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-17 16:30:02 [post_content] =>

Are spreadsheets good for managing data

Excel is great for what it does with data. You can even connect Excel to data visualization software like Power BI.

A lot of companies use Excel to create pivot tables, look at line-item lists and build graphs. But some businesses rely on it way too much. If you’re running large data sets or entire projects in Excel, then you might want to consider what you are missing with a tailored solution that can give you more accurate data more of the time.

Permissions

In Excel, anyone can update a spreadsheet who has access to it. It’s just a spreadsheet that someone updates by hand.

However, if you are using a database and a platform like SharePoint, only people with the proper permission can edit fields. Whereas in a spreadsheet, anyone who has the spreadsheet can edit whatever they want.

If you have all your financial data in Excel, why would you let someone who is not in accounting make official edits to financial data? There are no controls on the data in a spreadsheet.

Automation

If you are using Excel, chances are your data is not automated, which means data is not flowing from software that collects the data to the software that projects that data with visualization tools.

If a data transfer is not automated, then guess what? You are doing data entry and copy and pasting cells. Not only are you wasting extra time and resources, you risk making errors with your data.

Accuracy

Check out our story on why your data is not accurate.  Humans enter data into the Excel fields. With every human task, there are inevitably errors that will be made with data entry. Even a hidden decimal or hidden row can cause your entire excel sheet to be inaccurate.

With a data entry process or the right enterprise-level software, you can control what data you enter with checkboxes and dropdowns. This limits possible entries and errors.

Chapter Six:

How to Control Human Resource Employee Data

Quit the Spreadsheet

Use the tools large enterprises use, control your data with SharePoint

Managing Data with SharePoint Will Transform Your Business

Are you managing your entire company from a spreadsheet? How are you going to grow with those document management tools? Does your SharePoint work the way you want it to? If you properly implement SharePoint, it will transform your company's productivity. Employees will be more efficient, you'll have better access to your company's data, and you'll be able to better report on key metrics. HingePoint’s custom SharePoint solutions have helped many companies struggling with unorganized data and manual, multi-step processes. Those same customers have transitioned into a more organized, productive organization through automated workflows and easy-to-search information. [post_title] => 3 Reasons You Should Quit Managing Data with Spreadsheets [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 3-reasons-quit-managing-data-spreadsheets [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-21 00:08:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-21 06:08:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/?p=12961 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 3 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14266 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2018-03-29 23:29:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-30 04:29:36 [post_content] =>

Construction Project Management: Stop Using Spreadsheets

Having and maintaining accurate, up-to-date employee data is crucial in the construction business. If your business is rapidly growing (like so many other construction companies in the Dallas area where HingePoint is headquartered) and you’re onboarding employees, vendors, and contractors, accurate data on who your employees are and what they are working on is critical for success. Although it sounds like a simple task, project management for construction companies can be quite challenging and lead to more serious issues if not managed properly.

The Spreadsheet Problem

Many of our clients in the construction industry previously used Excel spreadsheets to manage their financial data, employee data, project status, and assets. Some were using old versions of SharePoint with unorganized data. When working with software and older systems, data about employees are prone to be full of errors (out-dated and inaccurate). The trick is to get up-to-date, accurate information out of your data management system instead of old, error-prone data. Spreadsheets are great tools for handling smaller and more manageable datasets. But what happens when you start hiring 10, 100, or even 500 employees at a time while managing employee data in a spreadsheet or in multiple, unstructured databases? It gets unmanageable - fast. As your construction business grows, more departments need human resource employee data because more information is attached to each employee. And soon, just having the right name, address, phone number, and social security number across the enterprise become more challenging if you don’t have the right controls and organization. If this data is in an actual spreadsheet, then anyone can enter and change data in that workbook. (See: Why spreadsheets don’t manage big data sets well)

The Situation

For example, a manager could get access to a Human Resource spreadsheet with employee names and other important information. Let’s say the manager has an employee named Suzanne, but she likes to be called Suzy. The manager changes the data because they can and there are no restrictions preventing it. But there is a big problem. Now the source data – the system of record – is not consistent/accurate. Suzanne will be called different names in different versions of spreadsheets. (Check out our FREE eBook on The Secret To Systems Integration: The System Of Record.) Throw time in there, too. Perhaps “Suzy” is a contractor who is keeping her time in a spreadsheet that gets sent to her manager. The manager sends Suzanne’s hours and all contractors to Human Resources so they can get paid. The manager’s project data is being merged with HR’s data. The problem is that we have two different names in the system. “Suzanne” and “Suzy”. No VLOOKUP formula or Pivot Table is going to solve this. It’s going to take someone to manually go in and fix the data. This might not seem like a big deal, but as the company grows, these smaller errors will multiply in other departments. Once this happens, the employee data cannot be trusted, and it will take a lot of manual work to fix the errors each pay period. The data problems can become so big that businesses end up just not trusting their data, causing a lot of rework, manual data entry, etc.

The Solution

A lot of construction companies we work with the hope that the software an IT company is going to install will solve the data problem. Unfortunately, this just adds another layer of complexity to the original problem. The problem that needs to be solved is how you're going to clean up your data, actually collecting it, and then showing it in a way that lets you see the data in a new light. Ideally, you want to make decisions with information that automatically reports to you. Seeing year-over-year and month-to-month views of data can quickly identify trends. With the right devices collecting the data and the right systems transposing it into information, humans can focus on making strategic decisions that will make their customers happy. That is how technology should work. And that what HingePoint can help you acheive! If you're looking to solve your company's HR and Project Management employee data problem, we'd love to hear what you're looking to accomplish! Feel free to start a live chat with our solution consultant on this page, email us, or call us at (214) 301-0000 to get started today. --

About HingePoint

HingePoint offers cloud and mobile applications for construction and real estate that are easy to adopt and employees love. Specializing in the systems that run the construction and real estate business including SharePointSalesforceProcoreMS Dynamics, and Autodesk. Scale and grow profitably with Financial and Project Management Dashboards, document management, and workflow automation for field to office collaboration. HingePoint 8105 Rasor Blvd. Suite 241 Plano, TX 75024 (214) 301-0000 www.hingepoint.com [post_title] => Best Practices for Construction Companies to Control Employee Data [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => best-practices-for-construction-companies-to-control-employee-data [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-22 00:34:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-22 05:34:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.hingepoint.com/?p=14266 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 3 [max_num_pages] => 1 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => 1 [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => fc34c0c0683b1f221815738a550873a7 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )