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The Pitfalls of Keeping Data in Excel

The Pitfalls of Keeping Data in Excel
Ivor Kosowitz | 24-02-17

Excel Spreadsheets are extremely useful and provide infinite flexibility.  When used properly, they can be an effective way to collect and analyse business data relating to customers, finance, staff etc. 

However as a business grows, spreadsheets become complex and business owners rely heavily on the results and analysis of the data being accurate.  Using Excel spreadsheets comes at a cost to many businesses that fall into the following traps.

  1. The spreadsheet is used by many people in the organisation.  They are copied, modified enhanced and grow in complexity.  But who knows which one is the correct set of data?
  2. There only needs to be one incorrect formula or missing formula to compromise the integrity of the spreadsheet.  This can lead to disaster for a company who relies on this information to make important decisions.
  3. When new staff start managing existing spreadsheets their level of understanding and skill in Excel does not always match the creator, again this leads to costly errors.
  4. The same data is collected in multiple spreadsheets within the company, crazy I know!  How much productive time is being wasted in duplicating the same process.

It is a good idea to assess how, where and why data is stored in your business.  In many cases we find that productivity, accuracy and reporting can be greatly improved by refining the work flow and importing excel spreadsheets into a Microsoft Access database.

MS Access preserves the value of the data, produces consistent reports and maintains a structure in the input and manipulation of the data.  This results in less data entry errors, improved version control and an easier straight forward interface – suitable for users of all skill levels.  For the guru excel users status the data can easily be exported and analysed using Excel, so it’s a win-win.

When you upgrade from Excel to Access it allows the database to expand with your business, this means not having to purchase a totally new database once you have outgrown the old one saving both time and money.

About the Author

Ivor.pngSince 1985, Ivor (Fast Track Computer Solutions) has successfully helped hundreds of business owners convert their Excel data to Access.  Specialising in software applications, Ivor and his team ensure the original function and intent of Excel is maintained and deliver a well-designed Access database that improves workflow and data consistency.  Business owners and staff receive training, a user manual and support. 

Phone: (08) 9275 9188

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