Now... against my companies IT policy... I have downloaded a third-party app called Notion. We are on a Microsoft 365 plan at work. But, I refuse to be limited to the shitty notetaking apps like Microsoft Planner (ew) and even worse, Microsoft OneNote (ew-er). I am a software snob after all. 😉
The reason I love Notion so much is it combines a KanBan, Calendar, Spreadsheet and Note view all in one database.
📊 KanBan - Progress status in each column
📅 Calendar - See view of tasks based on time
📈 Spreadsheet - Easily filterable, notice how I track my OKRs
🔗 Notes - Copy and paste screenshots, add links, notes, etc
📊 Data Manipulation
You might think because I am in data science that I must be using R or Python. You'd be sort of right but mostly wrong.
Most data cleaning requires the very basics. For example, stripping the first few numbers of a string, or concatenating (3) unique numbers to make a code.
This can all be done in Excel. I don't think it gets enough credit here. The "IF", "AND", "SUMIFS", "XLOOKUP", "TRIM", "RIGHT", "LEFT", "CONCAT" functions are insanely fast and easy to use.
Every now and then I have to clean data using a Python library like Numpy. But its rare. This is if Excel doesn't quite do what I need it to.
Azure Data Factories
Another fundamental software I use to clean data and send it somewhere is actually ADF (Azure Data Factories). It is in Azure which is a Microsoft platform. You can create branches, pipelines, data sets, you name it.
I have talked a lot about automation on my YouTube channel. Zapier, Make . com, n8n. But the only automation tool I can use at Intel is Power Automate. This is mainly due to security issues.
This software is used to automate your daily tasks. I use it to send data from one place to another. It is drag and drop low code software.
👩🏼💻 User Applications
There are several times where we need to build a user interface/application at work. This is to allow other people to input data that we want to collect, analyze and summarize.
You can make low code applications using PowerApps. The only problem is that you have people with zero developer experience making these - thinking they are the best thing since sliced bread. They are a band aid.
They are for minimal viable products (MVPs) - great for prototyping. But lets be honest, they are clunky, ugly and are filled with errors. I have never met a single person who enjoys filling out one of these god awful input fields.
This is a huge step up from PowerApps. But unfortunately you need to know how to code in C# and TypeScript. They are significantly more user friendly. You can even tell by the screenshot that they look significantly more appealing.
The downside - they require a decent developer to produce. You need someone who can use a code editor like VS Code and who has experience with C#. This is a form of Web Development (or also known as Front End Development).
Even further advanced is another Web Development tool called Angular. Again, this requires developer knowledge. You need to know basics CSS, HTML and TypeScript. This is industry standard. Companies like Microsoft, PayPal, Forbes - use Angular for their websites.
✉️ Email & Communication
Since we are on a Microsoft platform I don't have much of a choice on these. Plus, I think they get the job done.
Does this even need an introduction? I refuse to use any other email provider. I tried Gmail. Not a fan.
A lot of people are fans of Slack. But that's for small companies. Large corporations almost always are on a Microsoft business plan. Which forces people to use Outlook, Teams, Excel, and other Microsoft products.
We use a SharePoint site to house documents, store links, access information and for the most part have a hub. It works great and you can sync all the teams files to your computer.
🎬 Behind the Scenes
I have started uploading my Excel course videos to Skillshare for review. We are on the home stretch. I haven't filmed in a long time. Really trying to finish up the consulting stuff, then take a small break.
🎞️ Related Videos
I have posted a few automation videos in the last couple weeks. These are about Make . com and n8n - which are both great automation tools.