Creating a New Datafile
A Mandrel datafile is the file which contains all the data relevant to a particular project. It will ultimately contain the database of information about the project or program you are costing, and is also the medium on which reports are initially generated.
1a. When you open Mandrel, a start-up form will appear. Click on the New (green) button to create a new datafile.
1b. Alternatively, if you have gone past the start-up form, click on the New Datafile menu option at top left on the menu bar on your screen to create a new datafile.
2. In either case the Datafile Setup form will appear. This form has three pages:
3. Datafile Identity page
You must enter a name for the datafile. This name will subsequently appear on the home page when you are working on the file. If other people will have access to the datafile, you can also insert contact information for whoever will 'own' the datafile. You don't need to do this if the datafile will only ever be accessed by one person.
4. Datafile Parameters page:
4.1 Cost Item Numbering - Your cost breakdown structure (or work breakdown structure if you prefer that term) can be numbered in decimal notation (1.2.3 ...) or fixed-digit notation (1230, 12300, etc.). Whichever system you choose, it cannot be changed once you have begun to create a cost breakdown structure. However, if you choose a fixed-digit system and subsequently run out of numbers, you can increase the number of digits at a later date.
4.2 Base Currency - choose the currency you wish to work in.
If your preferred currency does not appear on the drop-down list, click on the Currencies button on the right hand side of the page to access the Currency Definition form. See 'Adding & Removing Currencies'. If you are using Mandrel in a dollar-denominated country you can just choose 'dollars'. The national versions such as US dollar and Canadian dollar are normally only used to denominate currencies other than your national currency.
4.3 Date Format - choose a date format which is closest to the one you customarily use.
4.4 If you are a new user, ignore the column of buttons on the right hand side (Prices, Taxes, Currencies, etc.) for now. These are intended as a convenience for experienced users. You don't need them at this time.
5. Risk Parameters page:
If you expect to be dealing with risks, you will need to define the risk matrix size, since this determines the size of the impact assessment scales you will use. You cannot change the matrix size once you have set up any impact scales. The default size for the risk matrix is 5x5, so leave it at this unless you have already decided on a different size.
6. Saving the Datafile - when you have completed these steps, click on the OK button at top right on the form. You will then be asked to choose a storage location for the datafile, which will be saved under the name you selected in step 3. However, you can save the file under a different name if you wish.