What business doesn’t use spreadsheets? They’re great for inventory and record keeping and they come with built-in formulas for complicated calculations. Really, what’s not to like about them? Click the Excel icon open and all the information you need will be right in front of your eyes, neatly organised.
But, what happens if you have too many spreadsheets?
A Common Problem
You may have heard of different solutions, such as CRM integration and implementation programs from SalesFix, that claim to streamline your data and work processes for you. As you started your business, you probably didn’t even consider them because your Excel sheets can do the job just fine, but what you don’t know is that having too many spreadsheets is a common problem among businesses.
In a time when your business is just as good as your data, you’ll need all the tools available to process your information efficiently. Spreadsheets are great, yes, but having too many of them isn’t. Hundreds of pages worth of charts can confuse new users, and this may cause discrepancies in succeeding records. Employees can be prone to error, and the same is true for spreadsheets.
A Chain Reaction
You may think that it’s so easy to just input your numbers and let the Excel formula do the trick. It is, and it works for a certain type and amount of information. But it’s not designed to serve as a database, though it may become a significant part of it. Once Excel crashes, what’s your recovery plan? Will you and your team be able to retrieve everything, and not risk another data loss?
Once you become heavily reliant on your spreadsheets, the problems snowball. First, you heighten the risk of irretrievable data in case of system failure and loss. Second, you’ll count on it as your customer response management platform, which it isn’t designed to be. Excel doesn’t sync with a number of communication apps, such as email, so it’s not exactly the tight tool for managing a client base.
Third, because all the information is there and the entire company can access it, you’ll probably misuse the spreadsheets as an integration tool, which it isn’t. Integrating data manually from different sources is a time-consuming process, and using spreadsheets to do this doesn’t make it less so.
That said, too many spreadsheets can turn into a chain reaction of over-reliance on and misuse of them, which may compromise your business’ efficiency. While spreadsheets are undeniably useful, they have their limitations, and some tasks are best left for other solutions to accomplish.