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5 signs you have an excel problem

By Victoria Dyke on Mon 06 October 2014 in CRM

I’ll be the first to admit I have a love hate relationship with excel spreadsheets. My experience with most businesses is that their data and customer information are often stored across multiple spreadsheets, filing cabinets and ERP systems – which all have their limitations when it comes to managing data. 

Also, given that 88% of spreadsheets alone contain errors, you can begin to understand some of the frustrations and problems storing your data in multiple locations will have.

Imagine opening a new office and investing heavily in a telesales team for outbound calling – this is what your business intelligence suggests generates the most leads. However, a few months down the line, your results are well below your predictions. At this point you realise that because your staff are measured on outbound calls, they have been attributing the majority of leads to this activity, rather than activities really generating leads, such as email marketing or web enquiries. Not only are your spreadsheets inaccurate, but also this makes your reporting useless and has a huge knock on effect.

So what are the problems your business might face when it has data and customer information stored in multiple non-integrated sources or ‘spreadsheet syndrome’?

  1. You’re always passing data between departments and have often found multiple copies of spreadsheets on employee desktops.
  2. There is an ongoing debate between locked spreadsheets that have limited access vs unlocked spreadsheets that are insecure.
  3. You are developing workarounds to overcome limitations of the standard spreadsheet functionality.
  4. Extracting accurate reports is a nightmare; making it almost impossible to generate meaningful business intelligence (don’t worry, 81% of businesses feel the same).
  5. Your data are growing and becoming unmanageable. Did you know that data grows at an average of 40% per year?

These realities cause real business challenges and often take up valuable workforce time.

Consolidating your business and customer information into one easy to access database for all departments will help you eliminate duplicate spreadsheets; as well as provide easy access to information you need, and most importantly produce accurate business reporting.