Yesterday it was a nice day for the Watertown Collection System seminar! This is always a great day, and it didn't disappoint this year. After setting up the booth in the morning, I had a couple hours to get some work done in the park. Not a bad office for the day! Then after lunch, it was a fast couple hours filled with good conversations with about an equal amount of old friends and new people I was glad to meet.
Yesterday I had the great opportunity to give a little presentation at the WWOA North Central Region Operator's meeting held in Arbor Vitae. My title? "Lost in data? Find your way out with Microsoft Excel." An integral part of what we do as a system integrator is setting up ways to automatically collect, store, access and use data. It's always really invigorating to put these data collection systems in place, but sometimes we put is an awesome systems and then the data doesn't get used. A SCADA system is so much more than an alarm system! It's even in the name - Supervisory-Control-And-Data-Aquisition!
Part of putting that system to work is getting the data out of the system so that it can be moved around. While there are reporting softwares that can create reports automatically from this data, the easiest entry into this is to have the data set up to automatically safe into txt and csv files. From there, we can import this data into Microsoft Excel and really use it.
I'm a huge fan of Microsoft Excel, but not everyone uses it every day. So in my presentation I wanted to just give a little primer on how to get csv/txt files into Microsoft Excel and then what can be done with it once it gets there.
The really great thing about using Microsoft Excel is that it's so universally used that there are a massive amount of resources available to learn. After covering some basics that I'll save for future posts, I left everyone with these three takeaways that I'll leave you with today: