If you’re like most businesses, your company probably relies on Microsoft Excel too much. And while Excel is a great tool, it can also be a huge source of problems if used incorrectly. Because the entry cost to this familiar software is low, it ends up being used to store just about anything from production rates to quality tests to Christmas card lists.
Excel can’t keep up with the speed of business today
There’s no question that business moves fast. But unfortunately, legacy systems like Microsoft Excel often can’t keep up. That’s because they weren’t designed for the speed of business today. Sure, Excel spreadsheets have their place in the business world. But when it comes to streamlining processes and driving efficiency, Excel just doesn’t cut it. There are simply better solutions out there that can help businesses keep up with the pace of change. So if you’re looking to improve your business processes, ditch Excel and make the switch to a more modern solution. Your business will thank you for it! In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the common issues that businesses face when they rely too much on Excel. Avoid these problems to ensure that Excel works for rather than against you!
1) It’s hard to use
Excel is a complex piece of software, and it can be very difficult to use, even for experienced users. Have you ever tried a VLOOKUP or a defining a RANGE? Maybe juggled dozens of excel add ins? Check out one of the hundreds of training and tips sites for Excel. Its complexity can lead you to make errors, which can in turn lead to problems for businesses. Formulas can be particularly troublesome in Excel spreadsheets, as even a small mistake can invalidate an entire calculation. Formatting is another area where errors can occur, as incorrect settings can lead to misaligned or inaccurate data. When companies store information in Excel that really doesn’t belong in Excel, it makes the problem worse.
2) It’s easy to make mistakes
When working with data, it’s important to be able to trust the accuracy of the information. This is especially true for businesses, which often make decisions based on the numbers in front of them. Unfortunately, spreadsheets are not always as reliable as we would like them to be. As a free-form entry nightmare, it’s easy for employees to make simple data entry mistakes that can snowball into big problems as you navigate all the different tabs. You may have heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out,” and it’s pretty accurate when talking about the problems with Excel spreadsheets.
3) It’s hard to share data
Excel files can be massive, and they can be tricky to share with others. Excel’s bloated file sizes and various file formats can make it difficult for team members to work on the same file. While spreadsheets should make your team more efficient, the problems with Excel files may actually lead to delays in getting work done. When sharing an Excel file, it’s important to consider how large the file is and whether all team members will be able to access it. Another big consideration is corruption. What happens when that Excel file you worked on all weekend gets corrupted 10 minutes before the big meeting? When was the last time you backed up your Excel file to be sure you have a copy when you need it?
4) Don’t treat it as a database
Excel is a powerful tool for working with data, but it definitely has its limitations. One of the most common issues and biggest dangers of using Excel is in treating it like a database. While Excel can store data, it was not designed to be used as a database. This can lead to problems with data integrity, security, and scalability. When working with large amounts of data, it is important to use the right tool for the job. Excel spreadsheets are an excellent tool for analyzing data, but for storing and manipulating data, a database is a better choice. Just say no to workbooks and sheets and use the proper tools.
5) It’s hard to collaborate
Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis, but it was not designed for collaboration. This can make it difficult for team members to work together on projects and analyze data. Don’t get started about version control. Who has the latest copy of the file? Which email thread has the up-to-date numbers? Lack of version control leads to frustration and wasted time as team members try to reconcile different values. In addition, Excel does not have built-in features for tracking changes or managing access permissions. Some recent cloud options exist, but issues with access and proper URLs have not been eliminated.
6. It’s hard to secure
Any business that relies on Excel to store important data is at risk of data corruption. This is because Excel is notoriously difficult to secure, and even a small mistake can result in data being corrupted or lost altogether. To prevent data corruption, it is important to have strict controls in place for entering and editing data. Any changes should be approved by a responsible party before being implemented, and regular backups should be made in case of accidental deletion or modification. It’s true that users can password-protect cells and sheets, but have you ever lost one of these passwords? Employees leave and sometimes take the passwords to locked files with them, creating additional headaches.
In short, Excel has its purpose, but you are likely hurting business by over-relying on this time consuming program. Over reliance on any tool can lead to inefficiencies and a breakdown of business processes. In some instances, Excel may even hurt the bottom line. Instead, you need to use the right tools for the right situation to scale your business. Cadynce offers a free assessment so you can see firsthand how Excel is hurting your business and understand the value we can provide. Sign up today and see how much easier your life could be using our no-code solution.