Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Time to Replace Your Excel Spreadsheets with an Online Database

There was a time when companies used to heavily rely on Excel and its expertise to formulate tables and charts on spreadsheets. Complex calculations, mathematical simulations, production of tables and graphs are what Excel is majorly popular for. Undoubtedly, it is an easy and widely-used program. However, it often makes the data handler work harder than smarter. Users often face Excel chaos when they are depending on it for data organizing and sharing with other stakeholders via email. Often, Excel files appear confusing with corrupted data, and may cost the company large sum of money & time and incorrect decisions.

Regular updates to Excel spreadsheets by multiple users make the file prone to errors and difficult to reconcile. Such chaos is detrimental to any organization which highly depends on database records. Many businesses have now outgrown Excel leaving many of its functions unexplored. Reasons provided are that it is a spreadsheet developed to keep numerical information, execute calculations and simulate a worksheet. Companies require something more than that – they need a proper database of their records. Considering the potential Excel chaos, here are the signs for when it’s time to replace your Excel spreadsheet with an online database.

1.Excel is not a Database.

First it’s important to know the difference between an online database and a spreadsheet. An online database such as SaaS can hold a greater bulk of numbers, texts, images and codes. It follows a pattern of logics and rules to keep the data organized. These rules enable the database to determine relationships between data, automatically update information throughout multiple departments, and permit queries to be created against the data. Excel on the other hand is not a database. It lacks the concept of data types and fails to enforce data validation. It is unable to colligate files and images with data. You cannot create relationship with another data set, and you can easily end up with clambered data. Replacing your Excel with a custom web-database would modify these situations for you. With SaaS online database, you can automatize data accumulation, changes, and distribution. It can handle multiusers and virtual databases of any size.

2.Uncontrollable Spreadsheets.

It’s time for you to move to an online database if you need to scroll through hundreds of spreadsheet rows to trace a mere figure. Spreadsheets become clumsy when they are handling large data reams. For such cases, online database is a wise decision which can find your buried and old data more quickly and easily.

3.Handling Sensitive Data.

The level of security Excel offers is very low considering the sensitive data companies share on working spreadsheets. You cannot do much to keep the Excel files from being sent outside your company. Due to feeble encryption of Excel, the internet is full of cracking programs that can uncrack a password-protected Excel file.

4.Multiple Versions of One File.

An excel file can be modified by one user at a time. A new user cannot make any changes and save it unless the previous user closes the Excel worksheet. One way to counter this confusion and inaccuracy is to copy an existing or save the new file and merge changes later. One of the most suited advantages of using an online database is that multiple users can share it at a time over a single network. They can update data which is accessible to all others in a company immediately.

5.Data Control.

In spreadsheets, users can enter any kind of text in data cells leading to useless and inaccurate results. With database rules, users are restricted to enter only a specific data type in the given field. This leads to reliable and cleaner results.


One practicable use of online databases is that they grab information directly from customers, be it from their website or any custom web program. Database provides an online form which the customers are likely to fill in rather than entering their data into an Excel data cells.

If your company is one of those having to deal with these excel chaos, then it’s time for you to replace your Excel spreadsheet with an online database. An online database allows the spreadsheets to be imported and exported and converts your data into a custom web-database without any programming. It is time for you to make a move and start using an online database.

If you want to check the online database advantages, I recommend you to try leading online database platforms like QuickBase, TeamDesk or Caspio.

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