Carussel is a digital marketing agency in Budapest, Hungary, specialized for the automotive industry. Over the years, they had grown from a small boutique agency into an industry expert, providing digital marketing, inventory management and customer relations services for Opel and other major car dealers across Europe. They have recently moved into a bright and spacious new office, but that's not only why they are living an exciting time.
Carussel has just started expanding their software tools from a single Jira Core instance to Jira Software, Jira Service Desk, Confluence and a number of necessary apps.
One of the key apps they brought on was Better Excel Plugin for creating Excel business reports from any Jira data. We caught up with Jana Tkacsuk, project manager at Carussel and Ferenc Kis, IT administrator about their experience with Better Excel Plugin.
What made you search for an Excel exporter app for Jira?
Jana Tkacsuk: Soon after we started using Jira for project management and marketing campaigns, we realized that we need something different than Jira dashboards for reporting. The dashboard is a powerful feature in Jira with all the gadgets, but instead of a dynamically updating board we needed something that captures the state of a project in any given moment.
We like using Excel around here to analyze our work progress, so naturally, we wanted to continue doing it. On top of that, our management also requested reports in Excel.
Jira in itself only allowed us to export into CSV format, which was a nightmare to rework and convert into a proper pivot report every time we needed that in Excel. So we went to the Atlassian Marketplace to discover what the different apps for Jira can offer for exporting data to actual Excel spreadsheets.
Ferenc Kis: We also considered keeping all the reporting inside Jira with a Business Intelligence app, but it wasn't the right fit for our need. Its features were too advanced for us, (we are not a data mining company after all) and it also didn't allow us to properly share our reports with customers or partners outside the company. We tried a few different Excel exporter apps, and that's where Better Excel rose above the rest.
Website created for an car dealership by Carussel
What made Better Excel Plugin stand out?
Ferenc: In Jira, you typically handle many types of data within issue fields: text, numbered lists, dates, numbers, etc. When you are exporting these pieces of data into Excel, it only makes sense if you are getting the right type of data back. What I mean is that you won't be able to calculate the difference between dates if they are represented as text in Excel, or can't add worked hours together, if they are in a format, like 1h2min. Better Excel knew how to handle the different data types correctly right out-of-the-box, without us having to consult with the documentation or contact support for help. This was very important for us, as it made the adoption of the app seamless.
The app also comes with baked-in reporting templates, so we could send our managers complex reports right away from Jira, without customizing the templates.
Jana: It was really a great first experience, that once we picked out a template, anyone in the company could just push a button and get the same type of Excel report in seconds.
What benefits did Better Excel bring to your daily work?
Ferenc: From a Jira administrator's point of view, the user export feature is a godsend.
Instead of querying the database, I can have a list of users in Excel anytime, with information on who is inactive, has what permissions, roles or group memberships.
Jana: First of all, I don't have to waste time with CSV files!
Jokes aside, it really saves valuable hours for us in reporting from Jira. Every report type or request has its own Better Excel export option, so our colleagues can serve themselves instead of coming to us every time.
Management is also satisfied and properly updated about our progress with our clients, so information sharing is also improved through progress reports.