Microsoft Excel is the industry leading spreadsheet program. It is a powerful data visualization and analysis tool, but even though it is the most frequently used reporting tool, there are things it still cannot do.
Have you wanted to work with real-time data? To have your data constantly updated? To be able to share those updates with others in your company? To view a complete picture of all the data in your organization?
If you have, we understand because so did we!
More businesses are moving away from Excel and are instead, adopting a reporting software that is designed for meeting their more advanced needs. If this sounds like something you require but need more convincing, we’re here to help you gain insight as to why…
Excel is no longer enough
Because Excel can only handle a certain amount of data, it can become slow when your data set grows. The size of the data impacts how long it takes to open and make changes to an Excel document. We’re sure you have noticed this issue. You probably resorted to making other Excel sheets, working on multiple worksheets and workbooks. Ultimately, you end up having scattered datasets, making it hard for you to keep track of and maintain.
You don’t need to do this anymore. Today, most businesses like ours, have the ability to collect data from various sources across departments and can accumulate data beyond Excel’s capability. Not only do you save time and the cost of labor but also get a complete view of your organization on one platform. A single source of truth is what a business intelligence (BI) reporting tool can offer you. BI shows you the bigger picture.
Excel can lead to inaccuracy and ownership issues
Because Excel users store the files locally on their computers, if other people in the company want to work on the reports, they need to have identical copies of those files. This might not seem like a big deal but ultimately, each person editing the file has a different version of it. There may be slight changes to it; changes that not everyone will notice or may not have been communicated. By managing all these files manually and relying on the “same version” of the file, you open yourself to inaccuracy and invalidity.
A BI reporting tool resolves this issue for you because every user with access is able to edit the report in its most updated form. Changes are made in real-time and you never have to worry about inaccuracy because whatever is inputted into the system (the data source) is what you receive and get to see in the reports.
Manual updates are prone to errors and are time-consuming
Excel users add fields, copy formulas, edit data values, and set new calculations. These can all break, especially when you’re working with multiple workbooks and worksheets. It’s likely that each sheet will require changes because they reference each other. It can get confusing and difficult to keep track of all the changes that need to be made. Not only are you wasting time on correcting and fixing the data but also making the data vulnerable to inaccuracy.
As mentioned before, a BI solution removes these concerns for you. It takes away vulnerability and ensures consistency throughout all your data sources. There isn’t a need for various workbooks and worksheets because everything is on one platform.
Excel cannot show you what you really want to see
Have you noticed that Excel cannot measure your KPIs? They cannot be calculated with one Excel formula. You would need to reference many dimensions, columns, and use complex filters. Because it’s not one formula, you have to manually find the right calculations and this can get time-consuming. Plus, while you’re doing all the hard work to calculate your KPIs, the less frequently you’ll be able to actually use the data to provide you with meaningful insight, which is the whole point.
With BI, the calculations are ready to go. Longer reporting intervals cost your organization time and prevent it from reacting to change in real-time but with BI, you don’t have to worry about this.
Excel’s reports and dashboards aren’t inspiring
Even though Excel offers data visualization tools for data sets that are small and simple, we know that your data sets grow. Ultimately, your visualizations become static and almost not presentable because there’s too much data.
By using a BI tool, you get high-quality data visualization, allowing you to see patterns or changing trends with a single glance. It turns your data into a consumable format, which you can process almost instantaneously.
You want to have a reporting tool that is equipped to handle your data, no matter how small or big, can create a single version of the truth from various data sources across multiple departments in your organization, and allow you to make critical decisions in real-time.