Excel Is Not A Database.
Excel is a very good tool for an individual to enter information to complete a single task. For instance, Excel is my number one choice when preparing a monthly household budget but is not appropriate for ten or more users to enter sensitive information to distribute to colleagues to complete workflows and tasks. If you don’t agree with this statement then the following list of nine problems with using Excel as a deal database is for you!
1. Single permission access. It is difficult to establish user access and control permissions in Excel. For a distributed professional team this causes problems some of which may not be recoverable from. For instance, the ability to easily overwrite data or access sensitive information they should not. In contrast, permission-based databases display only relevant information to a user based on their permission access as to limit their ability to influence the data used by their colleagues and as not to confuse them by providing tools to perform jobs outside of their responsibility.
2. Inconsistent data entry. Excel database suffer from field creep. For instance when a user cannot find an industry they consider appropriate, they create a new industry. This level of inconsistency between records results in data that is not useful to perform the analytical jobs it was intended for.
3. Pivot table, filter, ARGHH. When was the last time you used a pivot table in Excel? Excel does not allow records to be easily queried and segmented. Users can apply a filter, or A to Z ordering, or a pivot table but this results in data duplication and an unlimited number of permutations when trying to create a multi-variable query.
4. Is this the Master copy? Nothing is more frustrating then trying to open a shared file and be presented with the following pop-up error message “email@example.com is currently in this document. Click here to open a read-only copy”. This message is displayed because Excel does not allow real-time access to data or version control to allow display and edit privileges to information that is not currently being edited.
5. Limited to characters. Excel cannot store information this is not characters (text, numbers, and symbols). A strong database should provide layers of information allowing users to deep-dive into a record to find accompanying images, documents, and real-time connections to outside data sources.
6. Storage and access. Excel is a living document and it must be stored somewhere, typically on a shared folder within a file server. Maintaining ongoing access to a “Master copy” for a large distributed team requires management of file permissions, manual placement of Chinese wall protocols between divisions, and ongoing deny/approve permission requests. Excel does not have administrative controls to limit who can see data, what data they can see, and how they can use it.
7. Excel is not secure. An excel spreadsheet can be easily transmitted or stored outside of the organization. Client transaction data is highly confidential and should be treated as such every time it is accessed and transmitted.
8. Users hate using Excel as database! For all of the above reasons and more user engagement is 61% lower when using an Excel database compared to a web-based database. A product that streamlines permissions and scales to accommodate large teams is substantially more enjoyable and your team demonstrates this by using it more often, to better serve clients and the organization.
Pitchly is a transaction database for transaction professionals to record and share deal intelligence and tombstones easily. Professional service firms use Pitchly to record information about transactions they advise to better advise and market to clients. Pitchly makes it easy to distribute, audit and manipulate this information while automating transaction tombstones to market firm experience easily. Customers can migrate or create a new proprietary transaction database in minutes. Request a demo now!