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  #21  
Old 25.02.2016, 11:11
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Re: tedious work

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No, the way I read it is that the boss is asking the OP to use tools that are unsuited to the task at hand.
And I read it as her/his decision (new boss) isn't up for referendum to be voted upon by the EF.

I also question why the OP is coming here, rather than to her colleagues and new boss.

I could also read it as this new process is being mandated by corporate, in an effort to improve the professionalism of the company overall.

Or I could read it that the new boss is new because the old boss whinged and complained about the decision to use this tool and is now out the door after many attempts to get the intractable Swiss office out of the 90's. ("but hey - we've always done it this way.")

My ultimate point is, if you have to come to the EF to get advice on a question which is so GD obvious, (@Odile nailed it) maybe one does not belong in the workforce to begin with and certainly has no standing to question the decision.
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  #22  
Old 25.02.2016, 11:32
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Re: tedious work

I've seen this issue a number of times in my career. The coder/ programmer is focused on getting the program to work and the manager wants a report that also looks professional since this is the deliverable that is seen. A good coder/ programmer should be able to do both.
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  #23  
Old 25.02.2016, 11:36
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Re: tedious work

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And I read it as her/his decision (new boss) isn't up for referendum to be voted upon by the EF.

I also question why the OP is coming here, rather than to her colleagues and new boss.

I could also read it as this new process is being mandated by corporate, in an effort to improve the professionalism of the company overall.

Or I could read it that the new boss is new because the old boss whinged and complained about the decision to use this tool and is now out the door after many attempts to get the intractable Swiss office out of the 90's. ("but hey - we've always done it this way.")

My ultimate point is, if you have to come to the EF to get advice on a question which is so GD obvious, (@Odile nailed it) maybe one does not belong in the workforce to begin with and certainly has no standing to question the decision.
Agreed, not contending the bosses request, just the suggested tool.
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  #24  
Old 25.02.2016, 11:44
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Re: tedious work

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MS Word is not the Cessna, MS Publisher is.
Neither.

Basically for 99% of the business world it's Powerpoint. Preferably with the Thinkcell add-in.
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  #25  
Old 25.02.2016, 11:58
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Re: tedious work

Maybe the boss should have given you an A5 sheet of paper and a set of colouring crayons instead. Low-tech and forces you to present just the key facts.
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  #26  
Old 25.02.2016, 12:00
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Re: tedious work

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Neither.

Basically for 99% of the business world it's Powerpoint. Preferably with the Thinkcell add-in.
Ahhhrgggh! It what must not be named, question is what are you going to use to make the pretty pictures for "you-know-what?"
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  #27  
Old 25.02.2016, 12:00
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Re: tedious work

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Maybe the boss should have given you an A5 sheet of paper and a set of colouring crayons instead. Low-tech and forces you to present just the key facts.
...fingerpaints
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  #28  
Old 25.02.2016, 12:17
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Re: tedious work

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Maybe the boss should have given you an A5 sheet of paper and a set of colouring crayons instead. Low-tech and forces you to present just the key facts.
They stopped doing that with you after you kept eating the crayons - and complaining that "Banana Mania"** didn't taste like bananas








**I can't believe I Googled Crayola - went to their site - explored their colours and looked for one that contained the name of a food.
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  #29  
Old 25.02.2016, 14:10
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Re: tedious work

I'd suggest not pushing back. Rather, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate your capabilities. Most of my BI experience is with Oracle tools, but all of their output looks atrocious. I mean it's readable and everything, but certainly nothing you'd be proud to present to anyone. I always reworked the appearance in a variety of apps.

InDesign will also offer you the ability to do data driven reports. You can set yourself up a template and just pull in the ugly data from Excel or Oracle or whatever. It's a pretty nice system once you get used to the workflow.

It's also possible that the reports you produce are unattractive because you haven't developed, or simply have a bad, visual style. InDesign won't fix that.
If you're inclined, post up some of your reports with sample data and any identifying information redacted. I'll be happy to tell you where the problems may be.
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  #30  
Old 27.02.2016, 00:59
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Re: tedious work

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If the OP is failing to make reports look pretty in Excel and A.N.Other business intelligence tool then I'm not sure that Adobe is going to help.
Indeed. Tableau is head and shoulders above the rest, but there is no reason you can't make stuff look amazing in Excel or even reporting services.
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  #31  
Old 27.02.2016, 01:22
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Re: tedious work

Just find a training course in some nice part of the world for a week or two and ask your boss to fund it

Had a similar situation once and got a week in San Diego out of it; even managed to visit the course a couple of times.
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  #32  
Old 27.02.2016, 12:27
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Re: tedious work

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Data is worthless unless you can communicate it to others.
This applies to many professions, I guess it includes yours so... see it as an opportunity, you're not doing it for free anyway.
It applies to ALL professions. Analytical insights are useless if not communicated in a form that is acceptable/pleasant to the audience/client.

Not taking this situation as helpful feedback is self destruction, IMHO.

Suggestions for getting it right: 1) Google "Data is beautiful", 2) check out all of Tufte's books on presenting data. 3) Michael Alley's "The craft of scientific writing" is a wonderful source of inspiration, mainly for words, but also for diagrams and plots. You know it makes sense .
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  #33  
Old 27.02.2016, 13:09
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Indesign is geared for the professional layouter in the printing industry, if you have never worked with layouts or done any other typographical work and I don´t mean a flyer for a kids birthday, then you are in for a very steep learning curve, can you make a book or a magazine? Have you heard of em-spacing for instance?
It reminds me of the beginning of the so-called DTP era where bosses in printshops all over sacked their experienced typesetters and replaced them with secretaries or even their mum, because you just need to push a button and anybody can make print, just like it says in the advertisements.
We all know how that worked out in the end.
Also I don´t know if you already have Adobe´s finest in your company but if you want to get into indesign you now have to go over the cloud and that means that you no longer own the program but you rent it for a "fee," and woe betide the company that forgets to pay the "rent." What I want to say is that if you don´t have the resources to use Indesign, like those found in a printshop then the idea is a bad one, you are basically using a ferrari to take the kids around the corner to school.
A compromise would be to use MS word, it is already a part of the package with excel and will do the stuff you need ten times over also the learning curve is nice and flat.

Hi, I fully agree with you. We have rented it for around 350 bucks a year and I am first and only one ever in the company to have it. I am not sure learning it adds value to my skill set since I work in investment company where returns not colors matter. Anyways, ms word was a nightmare since I wasn't able to put the little graphs in places I wanted them to be and pasting from snipping tool sucked too. The good compromise was ms publisher but 'we' aim for perfection. The doc prepared using indesign looks better but i know further requests to fine tune it will follow. What I am not sure of is if there is a borderline which a business controller shouldn't cross in order not to lose her controller identity or one is paid for any work and shall just follow.

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Indesign is easy, copy a couple of simple tutorials on YouTube. But I am not sure why you don't do this in MS publisher.
It is only complicated if you need to learn how to get things ready for print.
i heard you cannot build good templates in the ms publisher

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Absolutely. What Dodgyken said.

Find out what your boss expects in terms of presentation ....sometimes bosses catch on to buzzwords (including applications) like a dog with a bone, but what they really want is something quite different.

And see if you can manage those expectations so the reports you create are useful to him, but not bone crushingly tedious to you.

Is your work group licensed to use adobe products? As Slammer suggested, they are pricey...another point which may or may not matter.

Do you have colleagues doing similar work? What do they use?

It's 20 pages doc that all departments contribute to. Business Control (me) write 10 pages which makes them (me) the owner of the doc. I am getting the book someone has recommended (The Craft of Scientific Writing par Michael Alley).. PS What the boss wants is that it 'looks professional' (read: like a magazine issue). It is not about the content. Nobody really does similar work and my boss is new to the company. I will get a new hire to help with the nitty gritty (adjusting fonts and colours to be in line with brand manual, standardising K EUR to EUR K across the doc, moving pics around, changing layouts from 3 columns to 4 columns and then back to 3 columns and so on) though. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger they say.

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the solution is simple.

Rather than giving management the actual figures, just do this:

- if the figures look good

- if the figures look bad

most people in management will be able to grasp the idea - given suitable training.
:d:d:d

thanks for your advice everyone! i got some interesting books on the topic to read now. and feel better. ps im also getting a training course in a very nice part of the world, zurich.

Last edited by MusicChick; 27.02.2016 at 14:12. Reason: merging consecutive posting
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  #34  
Old 27.02.2016, 14:18
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Re: tedious work

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I've seen this issue a number of times in my career. The coder/ programmer is focused on getting the program to work and the manager wants a report that also looks professional since this is the deliverable that is seen. A good coder/ programmer should be able to do both.
Haven't ever seen any back end coders doing proper front end stuff. But for the OPs question, maybe in that company there is marketing department and maybe there is some nice person who would give help with the report looks. And anyway it is not anyones benefit that one person makes everything by him-/herself. This is something where I have seen the most horrible results in long term.
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  #35  
Old 27.02.2016, 22:56
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Re: tedious work

If the boss wants it to look professionally designed then get a professional graphic designer to do it?
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