With Microsoft Excel almost four decades old, spreadsheets have long been the mainstay for business analytics, finance, & reporting. For smaller businesses, spreadsheets may help to get simple tasks done. However, in today’s automation-driven market, efficiency is a key variable for scaling businesses. As a result, custom software platforms are simply outclassing spreadsheets.

Here are seven reasons your company should ditch spreadsheets:

1. Prone To Error

The manual nature of spreadsheets make them especially susceptible to data entry errors that could pose significant costs (even billions of dollars in the case of JP Morgan). This is likely why over half of all companies in North America, Europe, and Asia are turning to software to reduce risk – especially in finance.

2. Information Can Be Overwhelming

We’ve all faced that dreaded database. The spreadsheet that houses so many formulas and duplicate entries that it becomes unmanageable. In short, information overload is a bottleneck for many businesses. Tracking internal processes on spreadsheets simply becomes unsustainable as a business grows.

3. Visually Hard To Consume

What good is data if you aren’t able to extract the relevant information to make a decision? Our brains are visually wired and we remember 80% of what see. Spreadsheets are simply not conducive to quick analysis due to the visual limitations and lack of clear reporting. In short, business executives need better solutions to be able to make high-level decisions at a glance.

*4. Difficult To Collaborate *

Team collaboration is more important than ever on large scale projects. Data is often lost when teams need to work on multiple versions of a project on the same spreadsheet. In addition, duplicate work is required to when it comes time to merge the final version. This is why many firms are moving away from excel to more robust analytics programs that prevent these types of collaboration errors.

5. Expensive To Maintain

It is possible to design elaborate formulas and create automations with basic spreadsheet software. However, this is a patch on solution that can end up costing significantly more money to develop, rather than opting for specialized software instead.

6. No Data In Real Time

Increasingly, industries need to manage complex data in real time – especially if they are customer facing. For instance, retail is being driven by real-time data, to constantly improve customer experience. This requires more robust analytic technologies that spreadsheets are not capable of matching.

7. You need a proper ERP System to scale

As a business grows, the need for communication between back-office departments (HR, Finance, IT) becomes critical to maintain operational speed. The volume of data analytics begins to pile up and manual tasks become a crutch. Hence, the need for an ERP system becomes a strategic decision.

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