I have no doubt that human society would not be where it is today without Excel. From sports statistics on your TV screen, to scientific research into the development of your favorite product, to personalized marketing campaigns – they all have their origins in Excel, no doubt.
These days, knowing when and when not to use Excel is a key decision in any business process design. We now have application-based technology alternatives for almost every business process, all of which will improve data quality, visibility, auditability, and data security, while reducing time and effort. Sure, sometimes a quick Excel spreadsheet will get you the information you need to be able to make a quick and simple decision. However, do you really want to go through “Excel Warfare” when designing a process that is central to your business performance and requires the involvement of multiple people throughout your organisation?
You risk having the wrong formulas and wrong results. Not to mention that one mistake could force you to spend countless hours reconciling and searching for errors. Data could fall into the wrong hands without any possibility of tracking progress apart from sending an email requesting an update.
Ask yourself the four questions below before using Excel. If you answer “Yes” to even one of them, it’s time replace Excel with a more modern, more collaborative solution designed to meet today’s business needs when it comes to sales planning, budgeting, and continuous financial forecasting.
1. Will this spreadsheet be used by more than 2 people?
2. Is the information contained in this spreadsheet critical to my business?
3. Do I rely on this information to make my company or department operate effectively?
4. Do I need multiple copies of the data for concurrent access or for data security concerns?
If you answered “yes” to any or all of the questions above, the good news is that replacing Excel is no longer as expensive as it once was. Cloud-based and SaaS licensed products have lowered the cost and commitment of replacing Excel to a point that most organisations will be able to find a solution suitable to their budget.
Improving your company’s budgeting and forecasting is a perfect reason for progressing off of Excel and onto a cloud-based application. Budgeting and forecasting software from Adaptive Insights lowers the cost entry point and the maintenance burden as well. Adaptive Planning requires no IT staff, no coders or programmers, and can be administered completely by business users. With no hardware costs and no expensive upgrade costs, the Adaptive Insights BI & CPM Product Suite reduces the total cost of ownership by up to 70% and improves the return on investment calculation.
GK Horizons provide agile and affordable budgeting & forecasting, financial consolidation and business intelligence solutions for mid size companies to large enterprise, across a variety of industry types. Follow Matthew Grove and GK Horizons on Twitter for more cloud technology information and updates.