Spreadsheet Programs explored: Excel, Google Sheets and Worksheet Systems

Spreadsheet Programs explored: Excel, Google Sheets and Worksheet Systems

What are you looking for in spreadsheet programs?

Spreadsheets have become an integral part in today’s corporate climate. They are often considered a short-term solution to fill the gaps that exist between companies needs and systems’ capabilities. In reality, spreadsheet programs are embedded in business processes and used for many years. Therefore, effective use of spreadsheets have become a key focus for enhancing compliance.

For a long time, Excel had the world of spreadsheet all to its self and it is still the widely used spreadsheet program on the market. It can manipulate large sets of data, run powerful queries, perform sophisticated calculations ’s and many more complex data manipulation tasks. With the rise of the revolutionary ‘cloud’, collaboration features and capabilities are climbing up the requirements list. Excel’s time is in doubt. 

Google Sheets Advantages

The basic concept of spreadsheets in the cloud is appealing. In reality, Google Spreadsheets, offering a cloud spreadsheet alternative, is nowhere near the modelling capabilities Excel has to offer. However, Sheets are serving a very different audience and purpose. It’s main focus is on supporting operational processes where a team of people is involved in. Examples include customer lists, marketing lists, inventories and any other list you can think off. Below are Google Sheets advantages explained in more detail.

  • Cloud. With Google Sheets, like any cloud-based system, the big advantage is that the information is stored and backed-up on servers, rather than your local machines. This means that your work is always available, providing you have an internet connection. Working with your team being a world apart is no longer an obstacle and in fact, promotes team-work and effectiveness.
  • Collaboration. If you have never used Google Sheets within your team, you probably should start exploring it. It is very easy to work with multiple people on one spreadsheet simultaneously. You can even see what cells are currently blocked for editing! Building and updating customer details, creating and assigning to do tasks and storing inventory data are just a few examples.
  • Ease of use. No prior training is required to start using Sheets. If you have ever worked with spreadsheet program, Google Sheets will be all easy-peasy. Open up the spreadsheet and start building up data or continue where your colleagues have left off. It’s that simple.
  • Free. Google Sheets comes absolutely free and doesn’t form part of a package which you do have to pay for. If it doesn’t full full your needs, at least your tried.
  • Integration with Google product. Google Sheets is part of the bigger family of Google products. Seamingless integration with Docs, Drive and Calendar makes your life that little bit easier.

Google Sheets Disadvantages

When you start to push, even just a little bit, the boundaries of what you want Sheets to do, its shortcomings become very clear. Not only are its data modelling techniques poor, when you want to start using it as a database, data integrity becomes a problem. This and a few other drawbacks are discussed below:

  • Data Integrity. Consistent, accurate and complete data is a critical aspect to any system or software that deals with your data. In broader sense,  data is there to provide insights, but with lack of consistency (primary and foreign keys), accuracy and completeness  (validation controls) your data becomes useless. You loose the ability to trace and connect data, recover or search and it is is more prone to mistakes. Unfortunately, Google Sheets places very little emphasis on ‘data integrity’. If your aim is to build data sets to make business decisions on, stay away from Google Sheets. At least for now.
  • Data Security. Security is increasingly our number one priority when it comes to our data and online storage. Your data needs to be more secure than a simple login can allow, particularly if your data is of sensitive nature. Unfortunately, this is as good as it get with Google Sheets. Sheets do not employ the following practices which ensure data security:
    • Data backups
    • User permissions
    • Validation controls (for invalid or duplicated data)
    • Data encryption
  • Data Structure. When you’re dealing with a ‘basic’ package like Sheets, you’re going to be limited to what you can ask of it. Data structure is one of them. It is a way of organising your data in an efficient way so it can be used later for multiple purposes. Sheets allows you to input data anywhere, in any cell without any logic or validation steps. Database softwares should be aimed to help you to organise your data. Unfortunately Google Sheets doesn’t. It is too easy to populate a spreadsheet with invalid, duplicated data without you ever knowing it.

Looking for more than just a spreadsheet?

Since spreadsheet have become an integral part of any business processes, organisations must ensure that data is accurate, secured, consistent and structured. Worksheet Systems offers a full-fledged cloud database program to meet your specific business and data needs. It places high emphasis on data integrity employing data security controls so you don’t have to worry. Since business stakeholders become more involved in data management, Worksheet Systems is build with the end-user in mind. It is easy to use, navigate and security of your data is taken care of.

Spreadsheets build for operational uses in mind, still need to receive the same care as any other business or database application. Our spreadsheet management program can help you to reduce risk and enhance regulatory compliance. Moreover, our systems can help you to keep track of any data changes, while allowing users to present key findings in easy-to-customise dashboards.

Our spreadsheet software allows you to import existing spreadsheets and build on them with an enterprise-level feature-set that makes the data work for you in ways that suits your business. You can harness the power of the cloud and take control of everything from budgets, to-do lists and your own, specific database applications. 

The team behind Worksheet Systems have the knowledge and experience to ensure the platform will transform the way you do business. It will grow as you do. Our systems are built from the ground up to be powerful enough for even the most complex processes, but simple enough to use that anyone can create incredible, innovative solutions when you need them most. It’s the only answer you need, but here’s another final question for you. How can we help you do more? Sign up for free and request a consultation to get started.