Data entry has become a bit of a nightmare around here.
As the number of working rabbits has increased, so has the information we need and want to keep track of on each rabbit.
As many of you may know Eric and I met when we both worked at The Large Hog Farm Which Shall Not Be Named. Data entry was simple (for us!) there, we simply wrote down breedings, matings, deaths, etc. etc. etc. and faxed the information to the company headquarters, (yes, cats and kitties, there was life before instant download. And we managed to survive!) and a few days later, the company headquarters would spit out reams of paper with more data on each hog than seemed necessary at the time, but it was handy. Very handy when making decisions about which animals to give another chance to, which ones weren’t with the program, or how many pounds of pork you had managed to produce for a given period of time.
So, Eric is accustomed to, and needs, more information than average about his rabbits.
The only problem is now, corporate headquarters is his wife sitting with her laptop at the kitchen table.
The Large Hog Farm Which Shall Not Be Named taught us a lot about data, numbers, efficiency, production and record keeping, and also how to apply those lessons in a more holistic, humane way.
We upgraded last year to a Dell handheld from a pocket notebook after the pocket notebook went through the wash and was completely destroyed, except for the binder clip. (Hey, I was trying to help!)
So, he enters the information daily, downloads it and I pull it off his computer and enter it into both Evans rabbit software, and our own spreadsheet.
Evans is pretty handy for tracking litter information, breedings, pedigrees and several other things, but as it is primarily a show rabbit program, it doesn’t track a couple of key things we need to know. So, there is a spreadsheet companion to Evans. I enter a lot of data twice to be sure, but the redundancy helps catch boo-boos and serves as a back up in case things get missed, which sometimes happens. The spreadsheet has taken on a life of it’s own too, and is getting ready to be revamped for a third time, because I figured out a better way to make it do more of the work than me! Having not grown up in the computer age, it takes a while for this old dog to learn a new trick.
It is rather time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating. I spent four hours last night entering litter information and new rabbit breeding stock, so that we can get everything tallied up and have an idea of how many rabbits we had last year and what decisions to make. Eric knows when the headphones go on and the ponytail frizzles it’s time to tread lightly. Or offer me chocolate. Or both.
We should have all of that data totaled and useable sometime in the next couple of days.
After I can stand to look at the computer again for anything but YouTube.