Four Reasons to Move your Database out of Excel

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Excel is an easy program to love.  The software is excellent when it comes to displaying data, charts, and clearly organizing information on a worksheet.  However, Excel is not a good database option.

Many Excel users make a habit of pushing Excel beyond its helpful boundaries.  This may have the unintended consequences of putting business-critical information at risk or adding time-sucking inefficiencies to an organization’s processes.

So, why is Excel so commonly used as a database?  Simple.  It’s all we know.  The good news is better database options are available!

Here are Four Reasons Level 12 recommends moving your information out of Excel and into a database:

  1. Accessibility Files containing data that is compiled and analyzed from more than one source generally require access by multiple people who oversee, implement, and adjust the numbers.  In Excel, that’s not possible without risking file corruption or inadvertent user changes to the data (when multiple users access the data simultaneously).  Databases allow multiple users access without these issues.
  2. Storage Capabilities.  When you begin to accumulate large amounts of data, Excel can become a beast to manage and suffers from performance issues as your data grows.  As a workaround, you can choose to separate the data into many sheets or files, but this quickly becomes confusing when trying to organize.  Databases, on the other hand, do not suffer from the same limitations or performance issues.  They often contain tables with millions of rows and perform large computations in the blink of an eye.
  3. Easier to run reports and queries.  When your workflows are straightforward, Excel will do the job.  But if your business requires complex reporting and assimilation of multiple categories of information, Excel will just make your tasks more difficult to complete.  Excel lacks the versatility to allow the customization of merging complex data streams.
  4. Integration with other tools and systems.  When your business requires integrating multiple tools and combining systems that all need to communicate properly, Excel is not the right tool.  Adapting Excel within reason may be a possibility, but detailed customization and integration using Excel will likely take much more work (and time) than simply migrating to a more scalable database solution.  Many database software solutions are able to automate tasks and reduce redundancies that you may be experiencing when running legacy Excel programs or reports.

It may be time to ditch your organization’s dependence on Excel as a low-functioning database.

If you would like information about which database option would best optimize your business-critical data and reporting, we would love to speak with you.  Contact Level 12 for a consultation.

Originally published on 2016-04-06 by Biz Dev