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How we program automated reports

How we program automated reports

We automate reports by programming in one of two ways:

  • Using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) which sits within all of the Microsoft Office programs (Excel, Word, PowerPoint etc.)
  • Using Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft’s software programming platform, which allows you to develop more or less anything

To drive the automation of a number of reports, we often use an Excel spreadsheet which contains all of the information that is needed to produce a report.

Our programs will read this worksheet and pick up all the controls for each report that is required. For example, code 1003 would be a report for Birmingham, UK, which would be emailed to birmingham@anycompany.com, who will report types A, B and C. Of course, many projects have many more controls than this, potentially looking up data from many sources.

MRDC can either work with pre-calculated that you provide or you can provide us with raw data in many formats so that we carry out all the analysis and calculations that are needed. Our MRDCL (LINK!) can carry out data analysis quicker than more or less any other system available – far quicker than programs like Access, Excel, SPSS etc. and other engines. There have been occasions when our MRDCL software can calculate results in less than one minute that other systems take many hours to produce.

Once data calculations have been carried out, our programs will read the data and organise it in such a way that it is easy to populate report templates. We usually handle projects in two phases – data reading then report population – so that minor report changes can be made to reports without rereading the calculated data. This saves time and reduces costs.

Finally, we prepare a program that populates your reports in the format you require – typically, Excel, PowerPoint, Word or PDF. However, for some projects we simply prepare data in a form that can be merged into our clients’ own systems. In such cases, we may produce calculated results in XML format or something other form. Just tell us what you need.

Once we have produced some test reports, they are thoroughly checked (LINK TO QUALITY CONTROL).