The Pains Of Managing Data In Spreadsheets

There are few who would dispute the value of a spreadsheet in many business applications. However, when data flows need to be accurately maintained and manipulated, such as in change control or list management, spreadsheets may not be the best solution. Sometimes they can even cause more problems than they solve. Here are three common scenarios that can do just that.

1. Spreadsheet Issues With Change Control

Change control is a process that demands adherence to specified protocols in order to preserve quality of output as the requested change is implemented. This can be a difficult objective to accomplish by using a spreadsheet. Spreadsheet data is often static and requires specific technical knowledge in design in order to facilitate changes that will also change other data within the spreadsheet as needed without corrupting data that needs to remain unaffected.

2. Spreadsheet Issues with List Management

List management can be cumbersome in a spreadsheet application. For instance, a detailed list of business contacts or customers can become quite lengthy in a relatively short period of time. Using a spreadsheet application for this task can render the information difficult to retrieve, especially if the information is needed quickly. Using a spreadsheet for list management will undoubtedly require that the information be continually resorted in order to provide a logical flow. This can be challenging when the criteria for the sort is unique or based upon data that is not easily translated by the application as to how it should be sorted in relation to the other list items.

3. Spreadsheet Issues With Maintaining a Bill Of Materials

The bill of materials, or BOM, is an important part of any manufacturing process and must be maintained accurately in order to avoid expensive errors. The hierarchical nature of this data mandates that the lists must be maintained using a system that will automatically change the end result when a change occurs in any of the entries. While this is not an impossible feat to accomplish with a spreadsheet, there are better and easier ways to make the data flow consistently and reflect changes correctly.

Luckily, There Are Solutions

These three pain points are just a few of the problems we’ve seen spreadsheet users encounter and help overcome through our software solutions.

If you’ve had other challenges that you’ve faced using spreadsheets, please feel free to email us and let us know.

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