Back when Excel introduced spreadsheets it was considered a revolutionary break through in the way information, particularly numbers, could be organized. If you've been around long enough you probably recall the early days of Excel. It was the shiny new thing that not only worked well but saved hours of time at the calculator. And you could put together reports with it. Ultimately Excel replaced Lotus Notes as the de facto standard spreadsheet.
A lot has changed, however, since the early 1990s when Excel was in its heyday. Not only has reporting become more sophisticated and interactive in nature, but the data itself has become more robust and powerful. And there is a lot more of it!
An article in Forbes Magazine recently pointed out several issues with Excel for today's businesses, ranging from too much raw data, to the inability to collaborate and share with others. Here are some areas that we have found to limit the effectiveness of Excel, especially if you are attempting to track IT and telecom data.
Too much raw data, which is cumbersome to work with. Rows and of raw numbers take time to manipulate and turn into meaningful reports.
Not designed to store large amounts of historical data. That limits the ability to identify trends over longer periods of time.
Lack of integration with other systems. The ability to automatically pull data from other sources is key, especially when it comes to analyzing telecom data. Excel wasn't engineered to flow data in from other sources. That keeps your information locked away in silos.
Difficult to use in a collaborative environment. In today's world with web-based reporting options, spreadsheets no longer offer the degree of flexibility needed to keep pace with changing business needs.
If you are still using spreadsheets to do things like keep track of inventory and produce telecom expense reports, you may want to revisit your reasons for doing so. The growing complexity of today's data, along with the need for deeper analyses to increase efficiencies across your network requires tools that collect data from multiple key sources, organize the data automatically and enable reporting that is comprehensive and portable.
At TTI, we understand the need for information that is not only meaningful but makes a measurable difference in your telecom spend. Your data can work for you in so many ways. We know how to help you manage more efficiently and effectively with solutions that free you up to align your department with strategic organization goals. Contact us so that we can learn more about your needs.