Excel spreadsheets have been getting some bad press lately, not least due to the Government using Excel to track and trace the coronavirus pandemic and losing 15,841 cases due to running out of columns.
Excel spreadsheets can be hugely valuable when used in the right way but as an expansive database the limitations are often going to outweigh the positive attributes.
Lack of Collaboration
Excel spreadsheets are difficult to maintain if the information is required to be updated by multiple people. Sharing and updating the spreadsheet and ensuring all parties are using the most up to date version can be an administrative nightmare. Simply not saving changes can result in a huge amount of time being wasted.
With an ever growing and changing database it is simple for human error to occur. Simply placing a number in the wrong field can skew the data exponentially and auditing excel can be difficult.
Working in silos
If an individual takes ownership of the spreadsheet and the updating of the spreadsheet, then this does not allow for input from other business areas and does not allow information to be easily shared. Working independently will also have additional complications if this individual were to leave the business as the information would potentially sit dormant.
Most business outgrow Excel
As your business grows, the number of spreadsheets required is likely to grow. The rising number of spreadsheets will become unmanageable and will need to eventually be replaced with actual databases designed to store, manage, and report on live data rather than a snapshot of data. These databases tend to be more collaborative and reliable.
If you are using Excel for your risk management and this is now proving insufficient, then please get in touch for a demo of our risk management software. Our software is web based, making it perfect for visibility across the business as a whole, distribution of responsibilities is simple, reminders can be set, audit trail of changes as standard and reporting that can be exported as PDF, Word, Excel and HTML.