In October 2021 we released CostPerform version 2021.2. One of the highlights in this version was the new portal, offering a fresh new way of gathering data and analysing results. There were three key principles we wanted to stick to when we designed the functionality of the Data Entry portal:
- We wanted to let non-power users enter or validate data that are being used in the cost models.
- We wanted to let management or other non-power users have access to the outcomes and insights of the cost models without them entering the CostPerform application.
- We wanted to offer a simplified and more modern interface for the non-power user.
And even though we believe we were able to deliver on these principles, we also realize there is always room for improvement. One of those improvements is already here.
The new Data Entry functionality of the CostPerform portal is very useful for putting non-power users in charge of gathering data. It offers an intuitive user interface for entering data directly into the portal. And even though the responsibility of gathering data has been delegated to other people, the workflow capabilities in CostPerform ensure that the supervisor stays in control of the process and is in charge of the data that ends up in the cost models.
Sometimes entering data into Excel is preferred over using a web page to enter data, as user friendly as the web page may be. This could be a matter of personal preference but there may also be technical reasons for doing so. For those situations, CostPerform now offers the option to upload data into the Data Entry portal using Excel workbooks.
You start by downloading a template from the CostPerform portal. This template is based on the configuration of a Data Entry Job assigned to you, meaning it contains everything you need to start entering your data right away. The objects and allocations are pre-filled, and the columns are the attributes you need to fill in. You can of course save the workbook so you can stop at any time and resume filling in the data at a later moment. Once you’re done, you can upload the workbook and CostPerform will enter the data into the portal. This allows you to do a last quick check if everything is filled in correctly before committing the data for the supervisor to review.
This method is currently limited to entering data for existing objects and allocations. We plan to add the ability to create new objects and allocations from an Excel workbook in the near future, so keep an eye out for any news.