Odds and Ends

by Sandy on October 23, 2008

in General / Tips

Wow, it’s been an awfully long time since my last post. I don’t discuss my day job here, but suffice to say it’s been a busy time with plenty of long days and cross-country business trips. Timing is everything, and even given the current economic conditions I’m trying to sell my house. As I touched on here recently, I worked all summer on preparing for selling, and then the global economy went from bad to worse. Oh well, carry on.

Then I topped it off with a fun bout of strep throat.

Understandably, there’ve been some developments between that most recent blog post and now. Let’s start this off with the big news this week.

Datawatch Releases Monarch V10

Congratulations go out to Datawatch who earlier this week announced the release of the next version of Monarch, V10.

I was fortunate to have had a preview of the new features while in Phoenix for the user conference this year. New to V10 are many really exciting new abilities for everyone from new users to experienced pros, and I’m sure that we’ll be exploring these new features in depth over the next while.

Introducing Changes and Trends Software

Rene Tenazas is the president and CEO of Changes and Trends Software, Inc., and he contacted me a few weeks ago about a software product his company is currently developing. He asked me to spend some time working with his beta software, and to share my comments with him. I was able to spend some time with it, and Rene and I have had several conversations, but the long and the short of it is that I simply haven’t been able to devote the attention to it (see above) that I indicated to Rene that I could. And given my current events, I fear that I’m not going to be able address it properly as intended.

So instead, dear reader, now I, and I`m sure Rene, would appreciate your assistance, and I suspect that at least some of you will be quite interested in participating.

The product is called DashMX, and its purpose is to help you build dashboard reports, using, surprise surprise, Monarch and Excel. Currently Changes and Trends is offering a free release copy of the software to the first 20 people who download the preview software, try it, and provide them with some feedback about it by email (see the details at the bottom of the page).

Constant Change

Part of what’s been keeping me busy has been accounting for a company-wide reorganization. A change in the ERP I use necessitated changes to custom programming that I’ve been using for a couple of years. Utilizing Monarch’s project files were absolutely central to adapting my systems to the changes. In the end my outputs looked and functioned exactly as the users are accustomed to, and the changes that could have had a serious impact in our business processes became transparent.

A Common Message is Surfacing

Today on the BI blog datadoodle Ted Cuzzillo discussed how, given the economic conditions, it’s time to do more with inexpensive BI tools, and how it’s time to become “analysis savvy”, sentiments very similar to topics I’ve discussed here.

“Only good can come from greater agility, faster delivery, and adoption of tools that remove the need for anyone between a business person and the data can only be good.” – Ted Cuzzillo

Happy Birthday to Excel with Monarch

Tuesday was the first anniversary of ExcelWithMonarch.com. I’ve been fortunate in this first year to receive a lot of very positive feedback on the site, the ideas and the tools I’ve created and shared. Much to my surprise, I even received an award.

In February of this year I wrote about how, in just a few short months, people from around the world had already been visiting the site. At this point, there have been readers from over 100 countries, and well over 100,000 pages have been read. I don’t quote those numbers to impress by any stretch – many sites do huge numbers every day – but rather to reiterate that all over the world, we’re all looking for ways to do more with what we have. To learn how to share information in useful, meaningful ways. To learn how to acquire the data we need from existing sources. To learn how to overcome the challenges that come up when working with information.

So a big “Thank you!” to all of you who have contacted me via email, left comments on the site, or merely just came by regularly or occasionally to read my ramblings. And a special nod to those readers who took a moment to subscribe to the site updates by email service.

Over the next year, there will be much to discuss as we explore Monarch V10 and more, and I hope that you continue to join me here regularly as we all collectively continue to learn, from one another, to excel with Monarch.

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