They’ve long been heralded as an invaluable productivity tool, but are spreadsheets really advanced enough to manage the complex needs of businesses today? We’re not so sure…
For decades, spreadsheets were a universal staple for a myriad of personal and professional purposes. From calculating and presenting data to keeping track of achievements and records, they helped users around the world stay firmly on top of all forms of organisation and admin – no matter what size or scale. But – and it’s a big but – the electronic spreadsheet dates back to the 1970s, and technological advances mean that the software has been superseded. And then some.
Here are six reasons to start looking into some alternatives.
- Almost 90% of spreadsheets contain inaccuracies
That’s right: according to this article by FP&A Trends, a whopping 88% of spreadsheets contain a mistake of some sort – the most common being an omission.
Faults are common even among the most experienced users, the report warns. Add into the equation (pun intended) that more often than not, spreadsheets are being used to handle valuable or sensitive information, and you’ll start to appreciate that one small mishap can lead to an avalanche of errors.
- Are they ever really secure enough?
Yes, spreadsheets can be password protected, but does that alone adequately cater to your company’s multi-layered security needs? Don’t forget, it’s easier than you think for someone to uncover passwords and gain access to confidential information.
- They’re too generic
One trait commonly bestowed on spreadsheets is that they are versatile. Yes, they can adequately perform a large number of tasks – what other tool could be used to create a pivot table and plan a 40th birthday party? – but this in itself highlights the fact that the functions aren’t as specific or nuanced as they could be.
The phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ springs to mind.
- Spreadsheets are not, we repeat, ARE NOT, intuitive
Learning and retaining all those formulas? There must be an easier way? Surely?!
- They are incapable of truly sharing data
Who hasn’t experienced that sinking feeling when you realise that the spreadsheet you’ve poured your heart and soul into for the best part of the day is in fact the wrong version?
As we know only too well, there’s no easy well to tell that the spreadsheet you’re plugging away on is the correct one, or if the most recent iteration is in fact loitering on someone’s desktop.
All of this is down to one simple fact: they weren’t created to be used by more that one person at a time. Recent alternatives, however, were custom-built with data sharing and cross-company collaboration in mind.
- Manual data entry is slooooow
More often than not, when using spreadsheets, employees are required to copy and paste or even rekey data into the system. For a small company that only has to manage a few bits of information, this might be perfectly OK. But for any other organisation, this eats up hours, if not days, of valuable time.
Imagine, instead, a system that removed this all-consuming process. No more manual tracking, no more manually segmenting information into various locations, departments or teams. Just imagine…
Whether you’re currently using spreadsheets for data integration or dashboarding, you might find that your needs are catered for by some more sophisticated software. Not sure where to start? Take a look at Qintil: a leading platform built for the way the world works today.