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Excel export - Budget Simulator

Nina Midgley -

The Excel export report is a download of all responses to your simulator. It is comprised of 7 sheets:

  • Overview
  • Summary
  • Summary charts
  • Final comments
  • Submitted changes
  • Submitted budgets
  • Starting budgets 

If you receive an error message when you run the Excel export from Budget Simulator, this means the report has an issue due to invalid responses within the report.

A response will become invalid if changes are made to the simulator content or structure after it was submitted. For example, adding a new slider after a response has been submitted breaks the export, as previous respondents do not have an answer for that slider. 

When you are in the process of building your simulator, you will submit multiple test responses. These may be followed by further changes and improvements. It is worth bearing in mind that while you are going through this process the Excel report will be broken, as many of the test responses will have been recorded against different combinations of slider groups and services.

By using the 'Open' and 'Close' simulator function on the dashboard you can open the simulator just before going live to the public, and will be prompted to invalidate all current responses (test data). This ensures the Excel export will start recording data from scratch, and as long as no changes are made after going live, there will be no responses recorded against different versions of the simulator and the report will work correctly. 

What happens if I change content while the simulator is 'open' and live to the public? 

When the simulator is in it's open state and live to the public, you will find you still have access to the admin editable areas.

It is important that even though it is technically possible, you don't make any changes to the simulator structure or integral service group content. If you do there may be a risk of rendering all responses submitted up to that point invalid.

It is possible to amend details on the welcome and thank you pages without inadvertently invalidating responses, but similarly, it is important to ensure you are not changing the meaning of the consultation by making changes.