3 Ways to Use VBA for Data Analytics Projects


Every professional in the IT services industry knows the importance of being able to work with multiple tools simultaneously. More often than not, project workflows are designed to flow sequentially as outputs from stage are used as inputs from the next till the final outputs are created. So is the case with projects in data analytics projects. VBA is a component that is generally used to create the final reports on the analytics that are performed as part of the data transformation process. VBA has many applications but listed below are aspects specific to data analytics projects.

1. Automation – This is probably the most obvious application for VBA. Since most reports are based in excel sheets, it allows for repetitive tasks to be automated using VBA macros. VBA provides two methods to build automation modules. First, it allows users to record actions being performed on the screen and creates the relevant code automatically, which the user can save. The other way, would be to actually write the scripts from scratch. This approach is more suitable where the tasks to be performed are complex. Simple tasks can created just by recording and saving the code generated in the background.

2. Application Development – VBA allows teams to create solutions, which look almost indistinguishable from applications built on a dedicated IDE. Of course. Many firms leverage VBA in combination with other Microsoft technologies like C# to create proprietary solutions. This is an extremely cost effective way to implement solutions to cater a firm’s internal need without having to engage an external contractor.

3. Scalability – Although this is a feature that may fall under automation but it is worth mentioning exclusively. VBA is extremely scalable. This means, that like any other programming language used for Application development, it also allows the users to create new modules as and when required. This is accomplished by creating additional modules within the same project. This is a very powerful feature to have for the investment. It thus allows teams to include new aspects to the automation as and when required even in an ongoing long-term analytics program.

Of course, VBA can never be implemented without the proper infrastructure for data transformation. It is recommended that VBA not be used to automate the data transformation related tasks because such steps require intervention at various points, which would be hard to include as part of the automation. However, once a data has been processed through say, audit command language scripts or SAS scripts, it is open season to leverage VBA as appropriate.

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