Microsoft Excel is EVERYWHERE in the business world.
Excel is a truly versatile tool for consolidating and analyzing numerical data of all kinds, from data storage to data analysis to project planning to metrics reporting. The popularity of Excel is not surprising.
Even though Excel is a versatile tool, it also comes with significant risks-some of which undermine its merits, especially for organizations managing mission-critical and sensitive data. When it comes to data management, smart companies are switching from Excel to web app database apps.
Complacency Leads to Inefficiency
A web app runs online, so it can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Multiple users can use them simultaneously, they are protected with passwords and two-step authentication, and they can generate interactive reports.
Custom web applications are so much better at managing data than spreadsheets, so why aren’t more businesses making the switch from Excel to web?
Spreadsheets are often the starting point for business professionals. People who deal with data are familiar with Excel, and this level of familiarity makes it their default tool. For many business owners, Excel is a familiar environment.
When spreadsheets are already slowing down your business, you need to step out of your comfort zone.
4 Reasons to Convert Excel Spreadsheets to Web Apps
- Excel is not secure.
Many companies prefer to build a web application from Excel data instead of managing their operations on a spreadsheet because of security reasons.
A worksheet or macro can be protected with a password, but the level of security is relatively low and can be compromised easily. There are several third-party services that can crack open your “protected” spreadsheets if you Google it.
Excel spreadsheets that are unencrypted and open to unauthorized access can be a huge vulnerability for your business. Research by tech giant Cisco shows that Microsoft Office formats, such as Excel, account for 38% of all malicious file extensions used in email documents.
- Excel is error-prone.
As opposed to web applications, which can be customized to limit users’ views, spreadsheets expose formulas to all users, resulting in possible tampering and errors, whether intentional or otherwise.
Even the most experienced users of Excel can find errors in user-generated spreadsheets.
JPMorgan Chase lost $6 billion partly as a result of a spreadsheet error in the “London Whale” incident. The biggest financial loss the company has ever endured was caused by an employee who used the SUM function instead of AVERAGE. Many other major disasters have been traced back to minor Excel errors as well.
To avoid these potential errors, it’s wiser to convert your Excel data into a secure and tamper-proof web application.
- Excel spreadsheets are hard to keep track of.
Most of your coworkers send around Excel spreadsheets to share information. Things can get out of control pretty fast: too many versions, you never know who made what changes, and where the latest version is kept.
I hope you’re not the unlucky person assigned to consolidate everyone’s changes into one document.
By moving your Excel data to a web app, you can provide access to multiple users who need to do their work simultaneously. Consequently, users get only the views they need, enabling them to perform computations and create reports without compromising the integrity of the core data.
- Excel is difficult to scale.
Using Excel for daily operations is not sustainable for a growing business. Work efficiency and productivity are hindered by the time and effort required to maintain those documents.
The software lacks real-time data sharing and notifications, making it difficult for teams to work together and take immediate action. It takes forever for files to load as they grow in size, so the more data you have, the longer it takes.
If you’re looking for spreadsheets that scale, look elsewhere.