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William M Mercer

This HR, Pension, Tax and Financial Services Consultancy operated a unit known as European Data Resources (EDR) whose primary function was to provide what are known as 'Market Pricings' - where the value of remuneration (pay and benefits) of executive employees are surveyed and reported upon.  These are used by large corporations to find out how well their reward packages stack up against the companies in their peer groups, with a view to tailoring them to match, if need be.


Pivotal to these reports were the ability to collect, aggregate and present pay and benefits data using as much IT capability as a mainly actuarial and administrative based unit could muster.  Qualified actuaries were used to working with complex spreadsheets for analysing raw data and calculating the 'pricings', but there had never been developed a clear, concise and systematic way of bringing that data TO the actuaries, and taking the data produced BY the actuaries to publish into presentations and reports.


My first notable contribution to EDR was an Excel survey collection editor, which was christened 'Questionnaire Amigo'.


This made easy the creation of survey questionnaires using Excel sheets containing form controls in such a way that the data provided on these forms could easily be aggregated for use in actuarial calculation sheets.

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As a follow-up to Questionnaire Amigo, I then wrote another Excel macro suite, "Report Producer".


The job of this system was to take the data collected and priced by the actuaries, and turn the raw data into presentation charts and data tables automatically.


This saved mass copying/pasting or re-typing and re-formatting of data, and ensured consistency.  


As a result, this system completely removed the need for overnight and late-shift operators (which had been required up to that time) in the department and enabled the same work to be undertaken purely in standard day (9-5) hours.


Interest in the system was also shown by the Mercer Australia office in Sydney after discussion and promotion on the company intranet.


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Also around this time, I wrote a Style Guide (left) for the team and revised many of the major templates to carry a more authentic corporate visual style.

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