Excel is an excellent tool for creating spreadsheets, and performing calculations with restricted data sets. However, many companies insist on using Excel as a database.
Despite how important it is to have a secure, easy way to store and work with data, many companies rely on Excel for these things, as well as to plan and manage all their resources- everything from Inventory Management to Accounting. This is not what Excel is intended for, and it costs companies enormous amounts of time, money and wasted resources every day.
No matter how small your company is, Excel is never an acceptable database tool. There are all kinds of excuses out there:
“It’s too hard to learn other software.”
No, it’s really not. Many companies are doing things the right way, and use the correct software applications to manage their data. Besides, it’s not like everyone using the software needs to know how to code; most employees simply need to know how to fill in data. And is it really that much easier than trying to use codes and formulas to get Excel to function like a database?
“We don’t have that much data.”
What happens a year or two from now, when all that data has grown? Are you still going to use Excel to try and manage 12,000 rows of data? Even if it’s small now, over time your data will become unmanageable.
“But we’ve always used Excel!”
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that just because it’s always been done one way, certainly does not mean it’s the best way.
Here are just some of the reasons you should never manage a company database with Excel:
- It’s extremely time-consuming to create and maintain excel databases, especially compared to the alternatives.
- Multiple people can access and update the database at once. This means much higher efficiency, and a much smaller margin for errors entering and updating data.
- It’s much easier to search for information with a database. A user can sort and organize data based on different queries, and unlike Excel, they don’t need code to do it.
- Data is much more streamlined, and takes up less space. Instead of relying on many different spreadsheets for different sets of data, a database allows you to keep all that information in one place. Plus it allows that data to be connected, giving you a complete profile view of your information.
- There are tons of great resources available for managing your database that are specifically built for the job: ERP software, Project Management Software, Microsoft Access, just to name a few.