Legacy spreadsheets were once seen as the future of work. At that time they offered a new way of collating and storing data. But that was decades ago. These days there are far more efficient databases available that are more robust and efficient. So, we’ve put together this list of some of the most important reasons for you to update your legacy spreadsheets with a solution for the modern workplace.
1. Vulnerability to fraud
Legacy spreadsheets are notoriously lacking in controls. This means it is difficult to maintain access authorisation and easy to manipulate or change data. With hackers always looking for vulnerabilities in systems, this is a dangerous combination that has resulted in costly lawsuits for companies who have fallen foul of data breaches.
2. Susceptible to human error
Simple errors can invalidate an entire spreadsheet — and they can also be incredibly difficult to identify. This can lead to inefficiency, wasted time, and loss of reputation that you can ill-afford. As humans we all make mistakes — that’s why the digital revolution happened. If you’ve ever tried testing a spreadsheet to eliminate the risks of human error, you’ll know it’s a thankless and impossible task. Interrelated data can be spread across different computers, offices, or countries — and even if you can piece together all the files, trying to make sense of it is no easy task.
3. They were never designed for collaborative working
Cloud-based databases were introduced because organizations had started to use spreadsheets for purposes they simply weren’t designed for. Their original and sole real purpose was to store data. Yes, there were elements of success in the early days of collaborative working. But there are limits to what a spreadsheet can do outside of its primary function and with each additional user, further control of a project is lost.
4. They are hard to consolidate
Spreadsheets are, in essence, a means by which workflow can be tracked and audited. To maintain control of workflow, there are times when data must be consolidated. But they are not designed to make this a simple process. Why? Because the way we work has fundamentally changed since their introduction.
5. The files are massive
Spreadsheets hoard data. With each new line or column added, the file size increases. This means it takes up lots of memory which can slow your systems down, and the spreadsheet itself becomes cumbersome and difficult to navigate.
6. They are difficult to navigate
A system that is difficult to navigate is a system that demands time you can’t justify spending on it. You could spend an entire day switching backwards and forwards between spreadsheets and individual pages and still not come up with the data you need. Even if you do manage to find the necessary data, there is no guarantee it will be in a usable format.
Spreadsheets have had their day. They were once much-needed, but now is their time to be consigned to the great recycle bin in the sky. Online database solutions such as Retable offer a more efficient, easier to use, and reliable alternative that protects and manages your data and ensures you stay in control of it.