The great thing about spreadsheets is they’re so easy to start using and so convenient. Everybody knows how to use them, and you can use them to enter all your metrics.
The not-so-great thing about spreadsheets is they’re so easy to start using and so convenient. Anybody can use them, and you’re storing all your numbers in them.
Spreadsheets are a convenient metric tracking tool, but they’re also riddled with problems. If you’re still using spreadsheets to run team meetings, you’re creating more work for yourself, and more frustration than you need. Not convinced? Let’s take a look at the dark side of spreadsheets.
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Digging for Data
Spreadsheets are handy for storing numbers, but you need a different spreadsheet for every department or type of data. If you use a single metric tracker, you could be pulling numbers from dozens of different spreadsheets across multiple departments—Marketing, Sales, Accounting, Tech Support, HR. Who wants to be doing that every week?
Some teams cut down on all that manual labor by skipping the consolidation. Instead, they keep all the metrics on their native spreadsheets. It cuts down on the burden, but it means flipping between multiple spreadsheets during Weekly Meetings. It also means viewing numbers alongside additional metrics.
It’s a pretty messy solution, and a confusing one. Plus, it’s amazingly easy for rogue spreadsheets to get lost in the shuffle and go AWOL.
Sorry, Wrong Number
Every time you go in to grab this week’s numbers, you run the risk of corrupting the data—accidentally pasting one cell into another, or hitting the wrong key and overwriting the data. Or you could simply copy the wrong cell into the data. The more you fiddle with a spreadsheet, the more fuddled it gets!
A Sore Sight for Eyes
Okay, show of hands—who loves reading spreadsheets? Reading a spreadsheet is a bit like going through the phone book—it’s just rows and rows of numbers that bleed into each other. Columns are sized badly, cutting off the information or wrapping it in an unreadable way. Multiple tabs have you hopping back and forth, and the wall of text makes it hard to tell what row you’re looking at.
Even if your numbers are right, that doesn’t make them meaningful. The harder it is to read and understand your data, the less helpful it is to your business. Spreadsheets are convenient for storing data, but they’re not so convenient for displaying it.
Frustrating Filters and Features
If you’re willing to put in the time, it is possible to make spreadsheets easy on the eyes. We’ve seen some examples of gorgeous spreadsheets that were clear, easy to read and attractive to look at. But it comes with a price.
You’ve got to put in a lot of time to make a spreadsheet look great. It isn’t easy, and it can be a frustrating experience. Usually you’re merging cells, using conditional formatting, freezing rows and columns, sorting and filtering, validating data, and even making thoughtful color choices.
But be careful! That gorgeous layout can easily be undone anytime—especially when other users go in and make their own updates.
Want to protect all that hard work? It’s kind of tricky. On the one hand, you want everyone on your team to see your data—on the other hand, you don’t want everyone in your company to see it. Or, maybe you don’t want anybody to go in there and muck up your beautiful spreadsheet.
Spreadsheets have privacy settings, but they aren’t robust. Anyone with determination and a bit of technical know-how can bypass the privacy settings and access your metric spreadsheet. There’s no guarantee your data is protected from prying eyes or clumsy users.
Break the Addiction!
Spreadsheets are addictive, because they’re so easy to start using. But like most addictions, they’re not really that good for you. The good news is, this is one addiction that’s easy to break!
Bloom’s meeting software has a built-in metric tracker that’s easy to use, easy to read and easy to protect. All your numbers are stored in one place, so there’s no hunting and gathering every week. Integrations and automations import your numbers for you, and our smart visualizations make it easy to understand your data at a glance. Track trends, uncover hidden insights and take better action as a result.
Could it be time to ditch your clunky spreadsheets for an elegant data tracking experience? Try out Bloom Growth for free!