“Too many spreadsheets.” That is a pain point we hear all too often in our discussions with clients. Spreadsheets have a long history of communicating data in business, but they can also become a hinderance to data visualization, communication, and timeliness as the business grows in sophistication. Some of the rationale we hear from business leaders behind the ‘too many spreadsheets’ problem is:
- “We just grew so fast”
- “This is what made sense at the time.”
- “It was convenient and accessible.”
- “We didn’t know where else to track this.”
- “Spreadsheets is all our team knows.”
Sound familiar? Today, the world is data-driven more than ever and its only gaining steam. The reality is that if companies can harness their data and meaningfully display insights into the business quickly, the proof is out there that it can translate to better decision making and improved financial performance.
The most successful things we see businesses do to unlock great business data insights:
- Link Strategy Directly to Reporting – The companies that are in an empowering data-driven culture know exactly where the business is going and the role that technology plays in that vision. They’ve also taken the time to identify the performance metrics that will best help with decision making for their business.
- Good Data – Modernizing your tech is one thing, but it doesn’t change the fact that Garbage In, Garbage Out (GIGO) is a piece of the puzzle that needs focus. Clean data that is also the ‘right data’ is what the business needs to be successful so that it can create useful reports and dashboards that drive business decisions.
- Embrace Change – We all love the familiar way of doing things and spreadsheets are no exception. For many companies, it was the only tool they knew to use to capture data. Changing the mindset and introducing different tools is a big communication and reskill exercise that should not be underestimated.
So, the answer to the original question, how many spreadsheets does a business need? What we know at Convverge is that if Microsoft products are at the core of your business toolset, the answer is probably a lot less than what you have today.
Transforming a business with digital technology can be intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. Our specialty at Convverge is helping companies digitally transform with Microsoft products. Our goal is to help companies better understand the opportunities, the tools, and then together developing and executing a strategy that leads to success. Contact us today.