Hamburger vs Fried Rice

Back to Basic: Spreadsheet is supposed to help us manage data systematically, clean and tidy. Not unless we are doing it right!

An analogue.

Look at the picture below,

a classic Hamburger & a bowl of Fried Rice.

Now you have two tasks to complete

1) Retrieve the burger patties from Hamburger

2) Pick out the tiny meat pieces from the Fried Rice.

Which task is completed faster? The Hamburger one, obviously.

Why? Because the Hamburger ingredients are stacked in order and visibly upfront.

The same intuition goes for managing spreadsheet.

>> Always build dashboards in orderly sequence. Don’t merge cell unnecessarily!

>>Consistent format of data within column/category.

>>Keep frequently referenced/important columns easy to spot.

Assessment checklist

Lastly, we are safe to go if the answers to these 3 questions are YES.

  1. Can I easily to pivot the table into clean summary?

2. Can I easily append/merge the table into other’s file, thanks to its standardized heading and data format?

3. Can I add/remove/override the data easily with minimal intrusion of the original layout?

Do not fry and toss your data on a spreadsheet!





Richard Thaler: ‘If you want people to do something, make it easy’

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