Excel. It’s the most popular software application of all time, but is it the best tool for tracking critical information for your business?
As Forbes reported in their article, Microsoft’s Excel Might Be The Most Dangerous Software On The Planet, trillions (yes, TRILLIONS) of dollars are dependent on Excel – every day. And while spreadsheets can be helpful for small businesses with limited data to organize, when it comes to high value companies, Excel is starting to seem more and more like an enemy not to cross.
Why? Let’s explore.
You’ve heard the groans from people in your office, “Ugh, I hate Excel”, and there’s a reason they do. Aside from being ‘dangerous’, Excel spreadsheets can be difficult, tedious, and frankly annoying to organize. Spreadsheets also require a lot of focus, attention to detail, and a lot of time. These sheets can be effective when organizing small data, but when your spreadsheet quickly fills up, the information can become overwhelming, and you’re likely to lose sight of what data is even important.
Progress within an Excel document is extremely hard to track. Unfit for growing businesses, Excel spreadsheets are outdated when it comes to organizing big data and collaborating with a team. This is largely because Excel documents cannot be updated live, and important information is bound to be lost as different versions are handed from person to person. In result, Excel limits a company’s ability to plan, budget, and keep track of essential project reporting.
Excel is also limited as the creators of these documents typically set up the spreadsheet according to their own personal needs, and organize the data in a way that makes sense to them and not necessarily to anyone else who may need to access it. This can cause miscommunication, lengthy explaining, and in some cases, cause for double entry during reorganization.
Excel is also incredibly vulnerable to fraud and manipulation. Should anyone hack into your system, they could delete data, alter values, and as a result, damage the accuracy of your document. What’s worse is that without checking every single row and column to a master copy, you may never detect that any changes were made!
Prone To Human Error
Lastly, and the most alarming reason Excel may be harming your company, is that the system is extremely prone to human error. You may not even realize it, but with the slip of your hand, in a moment of distraction, you could delete or alter critical information in your spreadsheet. Just ask JP Morgan; their 6 billion dollar loss was the result of improper manual entry from copying and pasting from other Excel spreadsheets!
The Solution? Customized Databases
While Excel has served its original purpose; agile companies need to reconsider the ways in which the tool may now be working against them. As technologies advance, it’s time to look ahead and discover new ways to improve efficiency, security, and to expand capabilities. With customized business solutions, designed to cater to your specific needs as a company, each of the above concerns will begin to fade away.
Created to address your pain points and largest vulnerabilities, a custom database provides a system and interface for collaborative entry, support more effective workflow, create easy to follow reporting, improve the security of your system, and reduce the potential for error.
Treefrog has provided a number of local businesses with tailored business solutions for everything from Membership Management Systems and Content Management Systems, to Event Booking, Email Marketing, Internal Training Systems, Product Displays and Online Retail Systems.