How I stopped worrying and learned to love Flat Files

Warning : Musing Ahead

My team loves to create excel in flat format , you know the ones we(analyst) hate, but users love because it’s so easy for them to data entry in , the pretty perfect excel you can’t even be mad at ,because it makes sense in ‘user’ world.

Conditional Formatting - Check
Merge - Check
TickBoxes- Checked/UnCheck
Printing Read - Check

What I want them to create for easy pivoting or database entry , which they hate and can’t imagine , why will my boss what my to create something so ugly , so unintuitive , why entry for on each line ?


EDT with its simple interface of gather, spread ,cross finally allows me to live worry free, they can continue create their pretty pixel perfect excel and I can get my database enabled report!

True love facilitated by EDT.

PS : Templates are still required to have some uniformity.


I wrote an article on how to get data into a ‘tidy’ form here, which you might find interesting:

Precisely what I felt

That is exactly why Airtable is so popular: Airtable Views - Create the Perfect View | Airtable
Everyone can have its own view on the very same data set. For such usage has Excel reached its limits (and Microsoft List misses the point).

Speaking for myself, I use EDT where IT left me in a gap (“we won’t automate” = 17 CSV of min 500k rows each month). What was a nightmare with Excel (eg. 1 million rows limitation) is done in minutes with EDT.

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@Admin, need to add the Rename Transform after the following

Add a Chop transform to remove the gender from the column column:

Because after this Replace transform is used on age column, which would be confusing for someone how it got there suddenly, since you are going step by step.

In the center pane transform steps Rename is present, but in the step by step flow, it is missing.

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Thanks. I will take a look.