Many people say Excel is underappreciated, and don’t see any reason to reinvent the wheel by adopting a different data-reporting tool.
Let’s start by reviewing when Excel can be useful:
- You really, really enjoy looking at raw data.
- You need to sort some data in a descending or ascending way.
- No other time.
I still think Excel is overvalued, not undervalued, in many workplaces. In today’s world, no one needs to comb through millions of rows of data just to find a few useful numbers. (Remind me, when was the last time you read an article longer than 600 words without first skimming for keywords or taking a quick look at the conclusion?)
Here are seven good reasons to drop Excel and adopt one of the state-of-the-art reporting tools out there:
- Raw data: When working with raw data, it’s easy to make mistakes, and Excel will never alert you to them. (Sort just one column instead of all of them? Good luck finding the data you’re looking for!)
- Outdated reports: You send out a report, but it’s outdated after 20 minutes and needs to be refreshed and re-sent.
- Too much data: The data is usually subsumed in a pivot table with minimal graphs.
- Calculation mistakes: If you make even one mistake in your calculation, it will be very hard to find that mistake.
- Statistical models: You never know how the statistical models are being calculated, so your R-squared (R2) could be completely wrong.
- Connecting data: Linking different sources of data requires use of Vlookups, and we all know how hard it is to match data.
- Add-ons: If you haven’t adopted Office 2016 as well, you’ll need special add-ons to be able to share your data sets.
Now, I know some of you will say I’m wrong about all this; please comment below, and make me change my mind!
Takeaway: Stop using Microsoft Excel! It’s outdated, and there are so many amazing, better tools out there.