Excel has been the tool of choice for data analysis for many years. But there’s pressure on to get more insights from data and excel can’t do it all. Luckily there’s some new tools available to go beyond spreadsheets and unlock more insights. These tools can do 4 things that Excel can’t do:
Integrate All of Your Data
Businesses have data everywhere, lots of it. It’s in the cloud, on premise and in different forms not just Excel. There’s social media data, financial data, CRM, web analytics etc. Using as much data as possible, it is possible to paint the whole picture and get more accurate insights. But sophisticated macros and pivot tables in spreadsheets are often only understood by the creator. Now it is possible to integrate all the data, wherever it is held and visualisations and reports can be made accessible to others.
Historically, creating monthly or quarterly reports has involved exporting data from your accounting system, CRM, sales and marketing. Then someone spent hours on each set of data and then had to connect the dots and put it all together into a presentation.
But now, with the right tool, links can be set up to each of your data sources and the data blended automatically, either live or as an extract. You will get a single view of performance and track goals, increasing your understanding and the quality of your decision making.
Better Visualisations Than Excel
Well-crafted, thoughtful visualisation makes the light bulb go off. Visualisation in dashboards in various types of graphs and filters brings a level of intuitive understanding that spreadsheets and pivot tables can’t hope to achieve. It is easier to understand and share the whole picture and start asking the questions to get to the bottom of things.
With interactive visualisations, you can filter views, adjust parameters and drill down to examine the underlying data. Questions can be answered in a few clicks. Data feeds can be live, hourly, weekly so the right timeline can be chosen for your needs and give you more timely insights on which to base decisions.
What if your dashboard stayed up-to-date every time you opened it? Spreadsheets only reflect the moment in time that the data was extracted. Putting a basic dashboard together in Excel can take hours and be quickly outdated. But with the right analysis tool, your dashboards can be linked to your data sources and automatically updated every time they are opened., or updated on a schedule.
We won’t be ditching excel all together. But the tools we can now set up and manage for clients help them see and understand their data, no matter how big or where it is stored. With easy to share dashboards with automatic updates, you can empower your decision making and that of your team. Decisions can be made based on up-to-date facts, not gut feel.
Want to see what dashboards would look like for your business? Get in touch for a demo.