To many of our clients, Data Analysis Australia is well known for our ability to use complicated and sophisticated statistical and mathematical methods to analyse and understand our clients' data. Importantly, a key characteristic of Data Analysis Australia is our ability to translate our findings into a form that is designed specifically for our clients' needs. This could be anything from a highly technical report to a report written in everyday language, avoiding statistical jargon, but always explaining the relevant outcomes in context of our clients' business.
However, cases arise where we consider presenting results in a written report alone is not sufficient for our clients' needs. In particular, clients will often wish to work interactively with the results from our analysis. For example, they may wish to apply predictive models to future cases, or to select various subsets of the data to analyse, or to examine the effects on resource forecasting of changing various factor levels. Developing a front end to often sophisticated simulation and modelling systems is one way to allow the client to achieve this. To this end, Data Analysis Australia is increasingly finding the use of custom-designed tools, developed in various software packages such as R or Excel, to be an effective means of communicating and translating analysis results. These are designed to be readily understood and interactively used by both the client and their target audience.
The custom-designed Excel tool forms part of our complete solution and is used by clients in diverse industries, including government, health, power, utilities and transport. The range of current and potential applications is also extensive. To date, Data Analysis Australia has designed Excel tools for purposes that include:
- improving data quality;
- simplifying and fool-proofing the application of forecasting models;
- speeding-up data entry and analysis;
- interactively examining potential forecasting scenarios; and
- breaking down and presenting a large amount of information in easily digestible "chunks".
Some examples of Excel tools created by Data Analysis Australia are given below.
User-Friendly Simulation Modelling Tools
Data Analysis Australia developed simulation models that allowed the modelling of complex queuing systems by building in the known variation in arrival times, the time spent in the queue and complex prioritisation rules. As the users of the model would not be familiar with the simulation software required to run the scenarios, Data Analysis Australia took care to ensure that the statistical complexities and the "nuts and bolts" of the models were hidden from the user. This was partly achieved by incorporating a user-interface built in Excel that was embedded into the model. The user-interface provided the user with an overview of the purpose of the model, model assumptions, the various input and output sheets and instructions for running the model. The simulation model automatically read in the information entered into the user-interface, meaning that the user had minimal interaction with the specialist simulation software. The models were successfully installed onto the client's computer network and have provided the client with the ability to quickly determine the feasibility of taking on new customers given current customer levels.