Spreadsheets have been the go-to tool for businesses to manage their data for decades. However, with the rise of more sophisticated systems and the increasing complexity of modern organizations, relying on spreadsheets can actually do more harm than good.
This is especially true for multi-chapter associations, which can benefit greatly from transitioning to more specialized software.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most important reasons why you should stop using spreadsheets and their alternatives for a more streamlined and secure process.
The Problems with Spreadsheets
While spreadsheets are a convenient way to store and manage data, they have several limitations when used for chapter-based organizations, like:
Reason # 1: Limited Collaboration and Visibility
Spreadsheets were not designed for collaboration, which makes it difficult for organizations to keep track of changes made by different departments.
It’s also challenging to organize data across chapters. With each department making edits to the files, data can slip between the cracks with ease. This lack of visibility can lead to miscommunication, errors, and confusion.
Additionally, as your chapters strive to grow with spreadsheets, the files will be bounced from employee to employee. Even the smallest changes can easily lead to multiple versions of the same spreadsheet.
Reason # 2: More Prone to Error
Spreadsheets can be very error-prone, especially when data sets are large and complex.
According to various studies, nearly 9 out of 10 spreadsheets (88%) contain errors.
Simple mistakes like typos, incorrect formulas, or accidentally deleting important data can have serious consequences. Since spreadsheets are often shared and edited by multiple people, it’s easy for errors to be introduced without anyone noticing.
Reason # 3: Limited Scalability
As organizations grow and expand, they often find themselves outgrowing spreadsheets.
Since worksheets are not designed to handle large data sets, and can quickly become slow and unwieldy. As a result, it can be difficult to keep track of all the information, which can lead to errors and inaccuracies.
Reason # 4: They are not Dynamic
Worksheets are designed to be updated manually and require a lot of time and effort to maintain.
This can be especially challenging for multi-tier organizations as they need to manage a lot of data across different chapters. Tasks like data entry, formula creation, and report generation can be time-consuming and error-prone when done manually.
Reason # 5: High-Security Risks
Spreadsheets are shared with almost everyone on a team which can result in sensitive information ending up in the hands of people not authorized to see it.
Additionally, they are shared by email, cloud sharing, or USB, thus making them more susceptible to compromise or unauthorized sharing of sensitive or confidential information.
Reason # 6: Limited Analysis and Reporting
While spreadsheets are useful for organizing data, they are not very good at analyzing it.
For multi-chapter organizations, it’s important to be able to analyze data across different branches and make informed decisions based on that data.
Worksheets do not have the capabilities to generate reports or perform advanced analysis, which can limit your data-driven decision-making.