We all know that a good spreadsheet can perform magic with data. Collating and streamlining information for your team to process and organise your plans. Tracking the impact of work already carried out – as well as balancing the books. There are more ways to utilise a spreadsheet than there are minutes in a day.
Although spreadsheets are a handy tool, many businesses still rely on formulas doing their thing and saving the file. Tucking it away in a digital folder and moving on to the next job without using or sharing the data. A good spreadsheet is useful but relying entirely on spreadsheets could be letting your business down.
Let’s explore some of the ways that spreadsheets are failing your organisation:
Excel is truly powerful when it’s being fully utilised. It can process huge amounts of data and collate, compute, predict and tally that data in ways that a person can’t.
But what use is that if you just click save, close the file and move on? Data is king – exploring and measuring data to show the impact of your work allows you to track your organisation’s performance. Without sharing the results of your data, your business will stagnate. The world moves quickly – you need to embrace tools that will allow you to keep up.
Too much data being ignored
Whether you’re running one small team or a network of offices across the country, the sheer amount of data being stored and ignored is staggering. Relying on spreadsheets to collate data is a missed opportunity to improve performance and get the best from your workforce.
The business has outgrown it
Technology has improved significantly and rapidly. You may have been so focused on growing your business that you forgot to invest in processes and systems which can keep up with that growth. Now you have a bigger team spread over a larger area, with staff spending time chasing paperwork and inputting data. They are going through the motions without any assessment of the information, and no real idea of why the process exists in the first place.
Don’t get stuck in a rut – future proof your business by moving away from outdated processes.
Integrity of data
When relying on people manually filling in paperwork there are many different stages where mistakes can occur. Having different people inputting information into the same spreadsheets. Passing results to yet another person to process and assess. Information can easily be confused, missed or lost.
Human error is the biggest cause of failures in this kind of process.
Manual vs automation
Why spend hours, days and weeks manually processing information which could be instantly collated and assessed by a digital system? People can access information at the touch of a button, compiling reports in moments. This can reduce the number of administrative staff you need, saving money on recruitment and salaries.
Manual systems and spreadsheets can seem like a game of Chinese Whispers – hard to trace who did what and where, because information is so limited. Unless you have people manually inputting who has done what (another clunky and time-consuming approach) there is very little information on who is performing well, who needs support, and how to plan for the next project.
The spreadsheet is dead.
Hopefully we’ve helped to shine a light on some of the limitations of relying on spreadsheets in your business. We have worked with organisations in the Facilities Management industry for many years and have seen the impact of our digital systems in reducing costs and improving data quality all over the world.