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Looking Beyond VLOOKUP to Data Preparation Platforms

Technology   |   Bertrand Cariou   |   Jun 26, 2018

Your executives expect answers faster than they did just a few years ago. At the same time, your data’s getting bigger: pulled from more sources, stored in Hadoop clusters, and managed with tools like Cloudera. But the data’s not getting any cleaner. In fact, Forrester reports that over 80% of an analyst’s time is spent just doing the preparation work required to start analyzing the data (our experience suggests that could even be the low end).

And if you’ve been using Excel to do that preparation, you know full well the pain of dealing with VLOOKUP.

So what’s the cure?

Standalone software tools designed solely for data preparation have become a necessary part of a modern analytics stack. The rising size and complexity of datasets has resulted in a need for correspondingly powerful, flexible solutions. Designer Cloud was designed to help reduce data cleaning and preparation time by:

  • Enabling better up-front assessment of data sources
  • Supplying smart extraction that learns preferences over time
  • Providing easy-to-use, intelligent, beautiful visualizations that improve data understanding and speed up insights

Designer Cloud can already do basic VLOOKUP functions, including using multiple columns and more specificity in matching, regardless of column position or case. But there’s so much more you can do with Designer Cloud:

Crunch the numbers faster
Combine rows from separate datasets to create a new dataset. Picking and choosing individual columns from multiple datasets results in fewer rows — meaning faster load times for your machine.

Wrangle big data
Work without fear of something becoming too big to open. Designer Cloud handles datasets of any size.

Point and click
Forget building and troubleshooting complex VLOOKUP formulas. Just point and click to perform data operations.

Easily manipulate data elements
Aggregate and multiply data, creating new columns to reference on the fly. For example, you can calculate a percent change and then store that as its own value to graph.

Debug as you go
Why wait until you’re done to see if you’re building something right? Designer Cloud’s tools update as you go so you can spot potential problems right away.

Collaborate with coworkers
Save and share joins and lookups with colleagues.

Automate your work
Reduce errors and increase speed to insight with Designer Cloud’s built-in automation tools.

Track changes
Preserve source values and data lineage. If you’re in financial services, you know how critical this is for data compliance.

Progress only goes in one direction, and your data will only get more and more complex as time goes on. Save yourself countless hours of VLOOKUP frustration. Sign up for Designer Cloud and try it for free right now.