Spreadsheets are a tool almost every business uses or has used before.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an Excel guru or a beginner to the cloud-based Google Sheets. It’s been a useful tool for personal data analysis and personal use for a long time. But what if it was holding you back in your business?
Spreadsheets are a powerful tool that many people are familiar with, but they are not able to handle the data-related tasks you have to perform for your business.
While spreadsheets are still used by 70% to 80% of businesses for tasks such as customer relationship management, financial reporting, and reporting on business data, they aren’t equipped to handle these tasks at an enterprise level.
Implementing a solution that is tailored to your business’ needs can increase customer satisfaction, staff productivity, and ensure that your data is accurate and current.
Perfect Image, an intelligent IT solutions provider, explains why businesses shouldn’t rely solely on spreadsheets to handle complex data requirements.
What are the UK’s uses of spreadsheets?
According to a 2019 survey, spreadsheets are still a key part of businesses. Over 90% of employees use them daily at work.
Personal tasks such as managing lists and tasks in a plan were the most common uses of spreadsheets in business. Financial analysis and budget planning were also popular. Spreadsheets are used by 59% of employees for financial analysis and 58% for budget planning.
Spreadsheets are also shared widely within businesses. 30% of respondents said that most of their spreadsheets were shared. Many businesses still rely on email to share company data. Nearly half of respondents to a separate study stated that this was true for their employer. This has four major problems:
Email communications do not encourage conversations about data to identify solutions or improvements – let’s face the truth, no one wants to reply to every company email about performance.
It takes a lot of time to combine data. Employees who need it, when they need it, may not have it readily available.
The email volume is high, especially now. This means that important data is often diluted in employees’ inboxes – which is far from ideal when business data is critical.
Static reports can cause data to be out of date before you hit’send.
How spreadsheets can be holding back your business
We aren’t saying spreadsheets aren’t suitable for modern businesses. They are used every day by many people in many different ways. They are great for manipulating and gathering data to a certain extent. They are however very restrictive and require a lot more manual input and effort.
Spreadsheets are not the best tool for data-related tasks.
Disparate data sources equal data chaos
Without bringing together all of your data, it is impossible to accurately measure and analyse them. Data chaos is when data is difficult to combine. Manually copying and pasting data between spreadsheets is tedious, time-consuming, and frustrating.
It can be susceptible to human error, as in Fidelity Investments’s case where a mistaken year-end payment promise was made to shareholders and a $1.3B gain was reported as a gain.
Your data is out of date and unreliable
If you don’t bring together disparate data into an automatic update system, it quickly becomes out of date and unreliable.
For example, customer data that your sales team has might differ from the data that marketing, customer service, and finance departments have. You won’t have unified data if they all work on different spreadsheets.
Cross-references with older data are not possible
It can be difficult to find the right mix of old and new.