August 18, 2022
Ryan Buick
Ryan Buick

How manual spreadsheet reporting hurts your business

Do you rely on spreadsheet-based reporting to track your business performance? If so, you're not alone. While spreadsheet and manual reporting are better than nothing, they can hurt your business in many ways, including slowed business processes and decision-making, increased risk of human error, and more. This article will discuss how manual spreadsheet reporting can hurt your business and how to fix it.

The disadvantages of manual spreadsheet reporting

The following are the six disadvantages of manual spreadsheet reporting and how they can hurt your business:

1. Slows down business processes and strategic decision-making

If you manually create reports, it will take longer to get them done than if you use an automated reporting solution. It means your business processes will be slower, and decisions will be delayed, leaving many business-critical questions unanswered on time.

In today's fast-paced business world, speed is vital. You need to be able to make decisions quickly to be ahead of your competitors.

2. Increased risk of human error

When you manually input values into a spreadsheet, there's always the potential for human error. These errors can lead to inaccurate reports that don't give you an accurate picture of your business performance. Invalid values can be entered, additional errors can be made in formulas, and valid values can be accidentally overwritten.

3. Performance issues with large datasets

As your business grows, so does the amount of data you need to track. Manually reporting on large data sets can be slow and challenging and can lead to several reporting issues. Traditional browser-based spreadsheet tools like Google Sheets weren't architected to handle massive data sets, leading to crashes or long wait-times fo users wanting to update formulas.

4. SQL requests slow down technical teams

Manual reporting can take up a lot of a technical team's time and diminishes their productivity potential. These technical teams constantly help with queries and provide updates instead of focusing on more critical projects that would help the business grow. If your business relies on manual reporting, you're not making the most of your team's skill set.

5. Lack of governance

Another disadvantage of manual spreadsheet-based reporting is the lack of governance during the reporting process. When metric values and filter parameters are manually entered into a spreadsheet, there is no accurate method to track who enters what data and when. This limitation can lead to errors and incorrect data being reported. Using manual spreadsheets in business may increase the likelihood of data breaches, compliance issues, and poor decisions.

Additionally, it isn't easy to ensure that the data is consistently and promptly reported without governance. Lack of authority can hurt your business by causing decision-making delays and decreased confidence in the information being reported.

Implementing a reporting solution that provides governance and control over the reporting process is essential. Proper management will ensure accurate and consistent data is reported in real-time. Besides, knowing that your information is accurately and efficiently reported will give you peace of mind.

6. Data is hard to find and understand

The lack of discovery is another disadvantage of manual spreadsheet reporting. It can hurt your business by preventing critical business questions from being answered on time because the data is locked away in spreadsheet silos. Users are frustrated because they can't get the information they need to do their jobs.

Looking for an Excel alternative? Try a connected spreadsheet

One major solution to the manual spreadsheet reporting problem is the connected spreadsheet. The connected spreadsheet space consists of spreadsheet-like tools that connect to all your data sources. They're typically much easier for business teams to use because they don't require SQL, are automatically updated with live data, can handle massive datasets, and are more easily shareable and discoverable.

With the connected spreadsheet, you can say goodbye to manual spreadsheet reporting forever. The connected spreadsheet will save you time and money while improving your business performance.

At Canvas, we're excited to be building the future of the connected spreadsheet. With Canvas, you can connect to any data source and build automated reports in minutes without SQL. Try Canvas for free today!

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