While it might seem cliché, “knowledge is power” is a quote the ambitious professional lives by. Whether you are an individual contributor or a manager, having accurate, fresh data is a key part of achieving your business goals. We plead with IT and business intelligence departments to provide us with solutions that connect us to the wealth of data living in our organizations. Some of us get our wish, many of us don’t. So, we take it upon ourselves to become trailblazers in getting the information we need, we develop our own paths to knowledge, we become citizen developers within our organization.
But our organizations don’t always make it easy to get the data we need. Hard-to-access silos, painful export processes and confusing data are just a few of the barriers we as citizen developers have to overcome. We break down these barriers using the tools and skills we have at our disposal. For some of the more technically capable, this means developing programs that automate the process of retrieving and massaging data. However, not all of us have the skills required to develop these types of programs. For the rest of us, what we usually end up with is a mash up of manual spreadsheet exports, sewn together using copy & paste, and excel formulas to automate at least some of the process.
Regardless of how high-tech or low-tech our solutions are, they inevitably create some significant pain points for us, including:
1) Taking time away from other parts of our jobs to build and execute the necessary steps that drive the process of gathering, transforming and making relevant data accessible to others.
2) Data that becomes stale because our homegrown, manual processes take up so much of our time, we are limited on how often we can execute them, resulting in data that is not as up-to-date as we would like it to be.
3) Data errors caused by the mistakes we are bound to make when using manual processes.
Addressing these pain points is what inspired us to build our latest feature, QuickBase Sync. Sync makes setting up a recurring data refresh easy and approachable to those of us that may not have the skills, time or will required to get our organization’s data into a usable state. Sync enables you to set up a direct connection to some of the most popular cloud apps, pull in the data from these apps and set the whole thing to run automatically every week, day or hour. This saves citizen developer time, ensures they are using more up-to-date data and reduces the risk of human error.
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