Too often, businesses generate many different types of data that can’t fit neatly inside a spreadsheet without it bulging at the seams or losing data over the borders.
Excel has become the tool of choice for many businesses as they try to wring as much insight as they can out of their data. Excel is a great tool, but spreadsheets by themselves are seldom the right solution.
In Excel, data has to fit into rows and columns, has size limitations, and joining data from multiple spreadsheets requires complex formulas that leave your results vulnerable to errors. What’s more, whenever your data changes, you have to repeat each step in the data prep and blending process all over again. So, while it would be ideal to have up to date information on a daily, hourly or even on a live basis to base decisions on, that’s not going to happen!
The more complex the spreadsheets, the greater the likelihood that only the spreadsheet creator understands what they say. And what happens if they leave? Such spreadsheets will typically display only a limited view of the business. Worse, as the business evolves, the spreadsheet may be missing new, vital opportunities.
“We struggled to predict what was coming. We would get last minute orders, run out of stock and felt that we were always fighting fires and under constant operational stress. We had loads of data, but it was all in different systems, so we were going into each system to export it to Excel to try to put it all together into meaningful information to drive decisions. Now I just look at the dashboards first thing every morning, see what’s happening and move on. The stress levels have gone down for everyone! I’m not hassling everyone for info all the time.” Nick Walker, Walker Brothers Transport.
A better solution is needed, one that can integrate all your data into one place, blend different data sources together, ensure that all the information is automatically updated and that the underlying data can easily be reviewed from a variety of perspectives to ensure that nothing is missed. The better solution is to use business intelligence tools such as Microsoft Power BI, teamed with an extractor tool to automatically extract the required data from the various systems used by your business.
Want to get all your data into one place and automatically updated and in a format that can easily be reviewed for insights and shared? Download our EBook on where to get started with Business Intelligence.