skip to Main Content

Error Prevention

Error Prevention - Protect Your Business From Expensive Mistakes!

No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to keep your data 100% error-free. However, you can minimise the number of errors and control the risk to your business. Our error prevention tools can help you reduce the errors entering your data and can help root out those that have already gotten into your data.

Get in touch
Error Prevention and Capture

Error Prevention

Error Prevention to Protect Your Business From Expensive Mistakes!

Error Prevention and Capture

No matter how hard you try, you will never be able to keep your data 100% error-free. However, you can minimise the number of errors and control the risk to your business. Our error prevention tools can help you reduce the errors entering your data and can help root out those that have already gotten into your data.

Get in touch >

Keeping Errors Out of Your Business

To help you battle the risks of errors in your data, we offer 3 tailored services. They have been designed to prevent errors entering your data and to capture errors that already exist. These services can be combined to provide layers of error protection.

  • Preventing errors entering your data
  • Capturing errors already in your data
  • Spreadsheet audits to check business logic

Error Prevention to Stop Errors Before They Happen

The first step in protecting your business is to prevent further errors from entering your system. Unfortunately, no system can block 100% of errors – humans are too clever and can constantly find new ways of breaking things. However, a well-designed data entry system will block over 90% of human errors from entering your data.

By using windows style forms to enter data, rather than just entering data into spreadsheets, we can bring a lot of error preventing power to your project.

Control Data as its Entered

Free typing of information into spreadsheets and forms can lead to typos, errors, and inconsistencies. For example, think of how many different ways you have seen the word “Limited” entered into data. It could be entered as “Limited”, “Ltd” or “Ltd.”. A windows style form can include error prevention techniques such as dropdown selections, tick boxes, and buttons to enter data.

Validate Data as its Entered

As data is entered into your forms it can be validated against suitable criteria. Are phone numbers and emails in the right format? Do all the numbers add up correctly? Does the customer have the selected options available to them? And so on. Any failures to validate will be highlighted in the form for the user to correct immediately. Alternatively, validation failures will block the “submit” button from working.

Data Entry in a Logical Order

Forms are laid out in a way that the order of the data entry follows your internal processes. This makes the form filling process familiar and easy to follow – reducing the number of human errors. Users won’t have to jump from spreadsheet tab to tab to find the correct place to enter data. They fill in the first logical pieces of data, before clicking “Next” and progressing to the next logical set of data.

Providing Help and Guidance

By making help and guidance available while entering data can greatly reduce frustrations, speed up staff onboarding and reduce errors. Help can be just a simple click away. Where possible we include a clickable “?” symbol next to each field, which when clicked on will display a pop-up of help. For international clients, these help messages can be displayed in multiple languages depending on the user’s preference.

Eliminating Existing Errors

The next battle is to find and remove errors in your existing data. Once found, data with errors in it can either be automatically corrected, removed, or quarantined for a human to deal with. This will leave you with clean and safe data.

Analysis of Existing Data

We can run an analysis of your data to find inconsistencies that might cause problems. Do text fields that should contain numbers contain text? Have dates switched between US (MM/DD/YYYY) and UK (DD/MM/YYYY) formats? Once identified and scoped, work can begin on resolving the issues.

Validate Existing Data

Our tools can run through each row of your data and validate it against a required criteria. Very similar to the way data is validated when entered in a data entry form. Any rows that fail can be either automatically fixed in situ, or isolated for human fixing or processing elsewhere.

Automatically Fix Faulty Data

A lot of issues can be fixed in situ, and require no further action. This is normally performed with simple conversions such as converting US dates to UK dates. Other typical fixes include replacing missing lead or trailing characters, and commonizing people’s tiles (Mr, Miss, Mrs, Dr etc)

Quarantine Faulty Data

If your data can’t be automatically fixed, it can be isolated or quarantined. This could be as simple as setting a “do not use” flag, or automatically cutting and pasting the data into another file. Depending on your business’s needs, the quarantined data can be deleted, passed to humans, or put into another system.

Spreadsheet Audits - Checking the Business Logic

After human errors, the next most common cause of errors is faulty spreadsheets. This is especially true for spreadsheets that are widely distributed or have been around for a long time. Formulas end up broken or end up doing outdated calculations. This happens for a lot of reasons, but it is typically because.

  • Different people will have different opinions on how things should be calculated and alter formulas accordingly.
  • Fixes and workarounds are applied on an ad-hoc basis with little or no research into knock-on effects.
  • Business processes change and formulas that model them are not updated to match.

Spreadsheet audits will identify these issues and make future updates easier to plan and implement.

Check Formulas Are Correct and Consistent

Formulas that produce errors (#REF etc) are easy to spot and fix. The dangerous formulas are the ones that produce results that look right but aren’t. Unless you check each formula, you will never spot these issues.

Check Existing Data Is Within Expected Criteria

If problems are identified, it brings into question past results and data. We will check past results against results produced by corrected formulas and VBA. This will allow you to identify anything that needs rectifying.

Check the Business Logic Behind Formulas

Each formula is documented and broken down. As a part of that process, we produce an algorithm written in plain English, so you can easily check the logic behind it. This has the added advantage of making future changes easier to plan.

Check The Business Logic Behind VBA and Macros

Each bit of VBA is documented, detailing which cells/ranges it uses as inputs and outputs (making layout changes easier to plan). Everything is broken down into a plain English algorithm allowing you to check its business logic.

Call 02921 29 2235

Outside UK Call +44 2921 29 2235

Your Extra Peace of Mind

To keep your spreadsheets up and running, Excel-Expert offers a unique and free after-sales support package. Any snags found in the first 60 days are fixed immediately and for free. Should you find any bugs in our programming in the first 3 years they are also fixed for free.

60 Days of Free Tweaking

When you buy a new house, you get to produce a snagging list for the builder to put right before you move in. We do the same. Once you receive your completed project, you have 60 days to report any snags and we will tweak/fix them for free.

3 Years of Free Bug Fixing

Our coding carries a three-year warranty, and any bugs will be fixed free during that period. Just get in touch and will fix any issue as quickly as we can. (Just so you know, no one has ever needed to use this warranty).

Back To Top