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ditch business spreadsheets

5 Reasons Why It’s Time to Ditch Your Business Spreadsheets

We’ve all used business spreadsheets. Since the advent of Lotus 123, back in the late 1980s, professionals from all fields viewed business spreadsheets as an indispensable tool. As with many other aspects of technology, Lotus became obsolete and, in its place, Microsoft Excel became the spreadsheet program.

Microsoft Excel was used for organizing everything from financial data to business contact information. Spreadsheets eventually morphed into project workflow and project management tools, but they left a lot to be desired.

In recent years, there’s been a trend brewing that could reduce the use of spreadsheets as an operational business tool.

The Issues with Microsoft Excel

Whether you love it or hate it, Microsoft Excel remains a vital part of the business software industry. Many corporations and small businesses have used Excel since the early 1990s.

However, this dominant player of business spreadsheets has gradually fallen out of favor. Prominent corporate finance chiefs and groundbreaking entrepreneurs now expect and require greater efficiency.

A major complaint with Excel is that it has not kept up with the ever-increasing demands faced by professionals, who are tasked with making important decisions and running companies of all sizes.

For example, older versions of Excel don’t allow users to collaborate in one document. There is also a limit to how much data a user can bring into a single Microsoft Excel document. In the contemporary workspace, the lack of collaboration is tantamount to closing your doors and shutting the business down.

In essence, the king of business spreadsheets is simply not an effective workflow system. It hinders productivity, collaboration and visibility.

5 Reasons Why Spreadsheets are Bad for Business

Technological innovation never rests in the digital age. Thus, some tools that were once integral find themselves becoming obsolete. The expiration date for business spreadsheets for workflow and project management has long since passed.

Here are five reasons why spreadsheets are bad for business:

1. They Contain Too Many Mistakes

Financial business resource, Market Watch, performed a study that concluded nearly 90% of all spreadsheets contain at least one significant error. This staggering percentage is not surprising, given a vast majority of the errors are caused by humans.

Simple mistakes, such as placing a decimal point in the wrong place, can dramatically alter the financial status of a small business. One misplaced number can paint an incorrect picture, having significant consequences.

2. They Hinder Business Change

Excel is familiar and consistent. It’s easy to make it your go-to tool. However, it’s not suited for a business that plans to grow and change. Business spreadsheets do not offer the scalability or flexibility that other innovative tools do, such as Quick Base.

Embodying business agility is key to having lasting business success. It allows a company to grow in conjunction with new technological innovations and increasing customer expectations. If you want your business to thrive, it’s time to move past the shortcomings of Excel spreadsheets.

3. Slow and Steady Does Not Win the Race

Have you heard the story about the tortoise and the hare? Well, in the case of business spreadsheets, slow and steady does not win the race. In fact, Microsoft Excel is incredibly inefficient for handling large amounts of business analytics data.

Compensating for the long load times experienced with Microsoft Excel forces users to break data up into more manageable worksheets. In addition, entering data manually is a major time lag. Worst of all, you can never be sure if everyone is using the most up-to-date version of the spreadsheet. Cloud-based platforms solve many of these problems.

4. Lost in Cyberspace

As far as workflow and project management tools go, business spreadsheets represent one of the worst tools for securing data. Anytime you need to import your data over the Internet, you risk compromising its security.

From a computer virus to a hard disk crash, business spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel place important business analytics data at risk. Hardware malfunction could wipe out large amounts of project planning data.

5. Spreadsheets Make Poor Business Intelligence Tools

Programmers design Microsoft Excel to store data within spreadsheets. If you need business intelligence tools to make decisions, then business spreadsheets are not the workflow and project management tool for you.

To manage businesses today, you need a better solution. Quick Base is a platform that can improve your decision making by storing your data in one place and allowing for accurate and easy decisions.

Quick Base: An Alternative to Microsoft Excel

Quick Base is a much easier and less expensive way to organize data for workflow and project management. The simple-to-use interface increases productivity, accuracy and visibility — three important elements for small businesses.

A Quick Base application ensures the tool never becomes obsolete, as new features can be added as business needs change and new processes are added.

For Quick Base support, Trinity can take care of all the logistics for you, from project planning to design to development to implementation.

How Trinity Can Help Organizations Move Away from Business Spreadsheets

Trinity has helped several corporations and small businesses end the practice relying on business spreadsheets. For example, SEVATI Therapeutics transformed their efficiency levels by partnering with Trinity.

Together, they ended the practice of using paperwork and business spreadsheets, which were slowing them down and dragging the SEVATI bottom line down with them.

Trinity developed a multi-faceted Quick Base solution that managed the workflows used by all SEVATI team members. The Quick Base app allows therapists to record patient data on portable tablets, with the data seamlessly integrating with patient scheduling features, invoicing, and enabling communication across the team.

The result of the collaboration with Trinity helped SEVATI increase patient visits by more than 20% per day. The Quick Base app also reports financial metrics that are not accessible on a real time basis.

In addition, Trinity helped SEVATI improve billing cycles by 21 days. It’s time to discover what impact ditching spreadsheets could have for your business.

Trinity builds amazing cloud solutions focused on business process improvement, tailored to the unique needs of each client. Flexibility and scalability are integral to these solutions, since Trinity understands that growing businesses evolve over time. For over 20 years, Trinity has worked with clients to improve their efficiency, increase service levels, and upgrade their quality of output.

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Scott Burday