How Companies Can Deal with Sharing Excel Spreadsheets with Many Users
Due to its familiarity, accessibility and versatility for data capture and calculation centric applications, Excel is a ubiquitous tool, in use at businesses in virtually every industry. From start-ups to global multi-national corporations, Excel is used for business processes such as modeling, analytics, data aggregation, and configuration, pricing and quoting (“CPQ”).
As the needs of a business grow, however, challenges associated with the use of Excel also grow, particularly when shared – issues such as version control, file integrity, intellectual property protection, and access control. Without the proper tools, procedures and resources in place, these shared spreadsheet problems can bog down processes or even derail projects.
Understanding these issues allows businesses to develop solutions for multiple users that streamline and secure workflows while still taking full advantage of Excel.
Drawbacks of Excel for Multiple Users
Since it is a powerful and highly flexible tool, Excel is relatively easily configured for an organization’s specific and custom requirements. However, when collaboration is part of the requirements, Excel quickly reminds us that it was not really designed to be, in fact, a collaborative tool. One of the top issues that organizations face is version control.
Excel version control
We have all probably experienced the confusion of which version of a spreadsheet is the current or correct one, and the more users who are updating, exchanging and aggregating, the greater the level of confusion and inefficiency. As revised versions stack up on users’ desktops, it becomes all too easy to lose track and end up working on or exchanging out-of-date spreadsheets, often with disastrous results.