How to Get Rid of Your Complicated Spreadsheets
Last Updated February 4th, 2021 · Custom Software
There’s a good reason that spreadsheets are used by just about every digitized business on the planet. They’re useful for data management, budgeting, and graphing and charting. They create a functional database that can be accessible to everyone in your business. And finally, they can act as a blank slate for just about any operation or functionality you can think of.
Spreadsheets are awesome – in theory.
But in practice, they can be frustrating, over-complicated, and inefficient. Complicated Excel sheets become “monsters” of data and information. They are difficult to manipulate, challenging to manage, and just about impossible to control.
The good news? There’s a great alternative to complicated spreadsheets that gives you the desired functionality you need without the administrative headache. In this article, we look at some of the core problems posed by spreadsheets, and how to meet those challenges with custom software.
The Problem with Complicated Excel Spreadsheets
We’re certainly not the first to make the claim that spreadsheets can be super frustrating. When you’re working in Excel or another program and you want to pull your hair out (literally) try Googling “Why I hate spreadsheets” to know you’re in good company.
Here are a few of the most common challenges with spreadsheets:
They require education.
As you’ll know if you’ve ever opened Excel, spreadsheets are not incredibly intuitive or user-friendly (duh). They require some kind of education or training to use. That education can take some serious time and effort depending on what sort of functionality you desire.
One of the most common complaints with spreadsheets is, of course, formulas. Depending on your users, they can be tricky to utilize and implement. If incorrectly used, formulas can result in some serious errors. And formulas are just the beginning of the challenge. To really take full advantage of spreadsheets, you may also need to learn to create calculators, visualizations, dashboards, and more.
They take time.
If you’re using your spreadsheets for something simple, like storing basic customer data, then you might be able to whip up a system that works for you without a lot of input. But you’d also be missing out on higher-level functionality that includes automation and triggered actions.
For example, in theory, you can use a spreadsheet to trigger an automated email sequence to specific customers. But learning how to create said functionality takes a lot of time – and perhaps more effort than you’d like to invest.
They’re not always super secure.
Finally, your complicated spreadsheets may not be as secure as you think they are. When sharing access to internal or external users, your spreadsheet may become vulnerable – exposing your customers’ private data, and putting your internal data at risk.
The bottom line? Spreadsheets are far from being perfect – but chances are, you already knew that.
In the next section, we’ll take a look at how to get all the desired functionality of a complicated Excel sheet without any of the core problems.
Replace Your Complicated Spreadsheets with Custom Software
Unless you and everyone else on your team are absolute pros at Excel, you’ve likely identified with one or more of the problems listed above.
While you could invest a ton of time, money, and effort into Excel training courses, we’re going to make a simpler proposal: custom software.
Custom software can handle everything your spreadsheets do, and more. It can be tailored to your specific needs and requirements. And it can be changed and manipulated without risking disaster.
Here are a few of the core benefits of custom software, laid out plain and simple:
Saves you time & effort.
As explained above, you can master spreadsheets, but it’s going to take a ton of effort. Or you can continue wasting your precious working hours and minutes trying to troubleshoot your own problems without the background knowledge and skill you really need.
Either way, you lose.
Custom software is built for you – a user-friendly, easy solution that delivers everything you need. It can manage data, make calculations, gather insight, and more. Whether you use your spreadsheets for CRM, budgeting, or analysis, you can have custom software designed to perform the same functions… and much more.
The end result? You (and your employees) save time and effort, and get to focus on growing your business instead of administration.
One of the most significant advantages of custom software over spreadsheets is that you can add fields or make changes without risking total destruction through reformatting. As your business evolves, your custom software can evolve along with it, without frankensteining (or destroying) your existing spreadsheet.
Custom software can be designed to ensure greater privacy and security over your data, with end-users and access in mind. For example, you can have a custom software tool that lives online so your employees can access the system anywhere. The result? A higher degree of security over your data. This can be a real game-changer if your business is emailing spreadsheets or sharing them on a drive.
Offers unique functionality.
With custom software, the sky’s the limit on functionality. Whatever your business needs, you can have a tool or a system created for that action. For example, you can create a system that delivers analytics and insight into how frequently specific customers contact you. Or when customer information was last updated.
Ultimately saves you cash.
Custom software can be expensive, but so is investing a ton of time into complicated spreadsheets. Excel costs you money learning to use its features and wastes employee time trying to implement formulas. Depending on your business, custom software can save you hours every week (or every day) on managing spreadsheets. Not only that, but it can “level up” your overall system of operations and even customer relationships through delivering more optimized functionality.
The outcome of that, of course, is a business that leverages technology to the best of its ability. You will begin creating profitability from efficiency and excellence.
Level Up with Link Software
Link Software is a custom software firm that can help you build a suite of tools, a single tool, or an entire system overhaul to optimize your business. Our software improves workflows, administration, and client/account relationships.
Whether you need an order tracking system that’s optimized for your unique product or service, a customer portal that automates and improves aspects of your customer relationships, or a CRM that’s perfectly tailored to your business, Link Software can come alongside you to create the perfect tool or system.
To learn more about how Link Software can create a custom solution for your business contact us directly using the form below: