Imagine you are walking out of the office after a long day and your phone buzzes with a new email. Taking a quick glance, you see that it’s from Joe in operations: "Hey, wondering if you could run me a few numbers and put them in a nice chart to show how well our new store layouts are doing along with the latest sale promo we started last week. Need to put it into a presentation for the executive team next Monday. Thanks."

What does Joe really need? Where do you start? For anyone in a business environment who collects or manages some kind of raw data, tasks that are becoming more pervasive, the need to process that data into a human-usable form is increasingly common.

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