WORK EXPANDS SO AS TO FILL THE TIME AVAILABLE FOR ITS COMPLETION
How 'thinking outside the box' can save money.
Initially, many would decide to use the Excel function library of their particular programming language. So did I.
But since Excel sheets can be very complex it turned out that just reading an Excel file would create a steep learning curve. The programming library contained a ton of different functions for even the most complicated Excel sheets, none of which we needed.
The workaround was very simple. Since the data in Excel had one row for each item, converting each of the 12 files to the CSV format (Comma Separated Values) made it way easier to import. No library needed at all!
Probably two weeks.
You might now think "Okay, that's easy. I would have come up with that solution.". You might be right, but in my experience people often do not even consider a short-cut or a workaround when confronted with a problem like this.