Managing Business Responsibly

Is It Time To Convert Your Company's Spreadsheets Into A Database?

by Priscilla Terry

If you run an office-based business, chances are you use one or more different spreadsheet programs to keep track of important information. Whether it's Microsoft Excel or another program, you rely on this information daily to keep track of everything from your sales to your inventory to various employee performance metrics. If it's starting to feel like your spreadsheet program is getting in the way of your job, there might be a better solution. Today, more and more companies are looking to convert Excel spreadsheets to database systems. Here's why you might want to make the switch with your spreadsheet program today:

No More Ridiculous Email Attachments

Spreadsheets start out holding no data at all and the first few entries won't add much to your computer's hard drive. However, if you have hundreds or thousands of employees adding hundreds or thousands of entries to your spreadsheets on a daily basis, your spreadsheet size is going to grow very quickly. If your current team communicates by sending emails back and forth across the company server, it might be a pain to attach one of these giant spreadsheets. The employee sending it will have to wait for the spreadsheet to upload and the person receiving the email will have to wait for it to download. The larger the file size, the longer this is going to take every time. When you convert your spreadsheets into a company-wide database, all employees will be able to quickly view the data from any computer without uploading or downloading anything.

Massive File Sizes Can Also Lead to Slow Performance

Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs like it are, of course, designed with enterprise in mind. The performance for most spreadsheet programs remains snappy for quite some time, but if you are one of the companies mentioned above that has thousands upon thousands of entries, you are eventually going to push the program to its limit. A spreadsheet program can begin to slow down over time when it has to go through especially large sets of data every time it wants to calculate something. If employees are starting to get the spinning wheel or having their computer lock up for a bit every time they want to make a spreadsheet adjustment, it's time to move to a database.

No Accidental Entries

It's also far too easy to accidentally change some data in a spreadsheet by clicking on the wrong cell or bumping a key on your keyboard. If you've ever had to clean up a mess like this, you might appreciate that databases are consistently backed up and maintain a long history of everything added or deleted.