November 17, 2022
How to Communicate with Data Engineers and Other Data People
Every professional field has its own language. When we started working with fundraising data, I had to figure out what caging was. (In case you aren’t a fundraiser, it doesn’t involve chickens.) I bet you didn’t know that a diplopodologist is someone who studies millipedes. And why would you? That’s not information you need to do your job. (Although we do love learning about other people’s jobs from Allie Ward at Ologies). When it comes to data - talking about data, thinking about data, working with data - no-data folks sometimes get intimidated. Yet, if you want to work with data engineers, data analysts, programmers, or other specialists from the data world, we need to find some shared language to get onto the same page when collaborating on projects.
November 11, 2022
Is your Data Engineer from Mars?
Data engineers have amazing skills and a unique perspective on getting the most out of your data. But sometimes it can be hard to work with them. They speak their own language, do their own magic, and look at the world differently. They may have completed their degrees at Hogwarts (just kidding, they probably studied at a non-magical university) but they weren’t born and raised on Mars - that’s just an urban myth. (Nor, to put another urban myth to rest, are they secretly robots.) When you have mountains of data to crunch, a data engineer, aka Data Wizard, might be just what you need. At Inciter, we have Data Wizards - data engineers, analysts, and other data specialists - as part of our team.
Is Your Data System Free….Like a Puppy?
If you don’t have a clear vision for your data, using free software can be more costly than the paid system you initially considered and decided against. You need to take into account all the short and long term costs of your data management system to free yourself from headaches down the road.
Should You Break Up with Your Spreadsheet? Maybe…..maybe not
Spreadsheets… People either love them or hate them. It often depends on familiarity with the spreadsheet software and how they are being shared or distributed. Social solutions recently published an article with 10 reasons to break free from spreadsheets. While we help lots of clients do exactly that, it is not always the best solution. There are times when using spreadsheets or spreadsheet-like tools (think Google Sheets, Airtable, Smartsheets, etc.) can make a lot of sense. The flexibility that these spreadsheets and spreadsheet-like tools offer is invaluable and you should always have at least one of these in your data toolbox.
December 15, 2022
Our Impact Blueprint Can Save You Time, Money, and Heartache on Your Next Data Project
Your current data system(s) don’t do everything you need. Maybe your data is all over the place. Maybe everyone is complaining that the one you have is too hard to use, doesn’t create the reports you need, or has terrible customer support. Whatever the reason, you and your staff are spending way too much time battling a system that should be making your life easier instead of harder. Are you tired of spending hours on the phone with customer support? Fishing around for days just trying to get the right information? Answering 20 questions a day from people who can’t get the system to work for them? Spending hours cleaning the same data over and over in Excel?
August 11, 2022
Never Endure Another Data Migration
We need a new data system. The stuff of dreams and nightmares. Whether you arent storing the right data in your system, or you cant get what you want out of it, you either have considered a new data system, or you were in the process of implementing one. So you got everyone on board, figured out what you needed out of a data system, did an inventory of your current systems, lined up the funding, and now its taking twice as long and costing twice as much as you planned.
Data Visualization Design Tip: Using a Style Guide
Everybody Needs Style. Why You Need a Style Guide for Your Data Visualization. We are big fans of efficiency at Inciter. We like to make our lives easier, and we LOVE to make your lives easier. If you are doing any kind of data visualization, this post will save you time and a lot of annoyance. And who doesn’t love to improve their data visualization design? What is a Style Guide?
August 11, 2022
Understanding Data Integration
We need a new data system. The stuff of dreams and nightmares. Whether you arent storing the right data in your system, or you cant get what you want out of it, you either have considered a new data system, or you were in the process of implementing one. Decide how to spend your technology budget is always hard. And moving to a new system will inevitably involve a huge cost because migrating your existing data to a new system is very labor-intensive.
Alternatives To Microsoft Access Databases
Microsoft’s Access has dominated custom solutions for managing data and prototyping databases since it was unveiled in 1992. While it has been the de facto custom database for many Microsoft customers for almost 3 decades, it has not aged well in the era of “the cloud.”