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How Companies Can Deal with Sharing Excel Spreadsheets with Many Users

by Mike Nieburg in All Blog Posts, Spreadsheets

How Companies Can Share Excel Spreadsheets with Multiple Users

Familiar, accessible and versatile, Excel spreadsheet software is used by an estimated half-billion people worldwide for business processes such as modelling, calculators, data storage and pricing. 

However, as the needs of a business grow, so do the challenges of using Excel, particularly when files are shared. Issues like version confusion and intellectual property (IP) vulnerability may occur, bogging down business processes, creating risks, and even derailing projects entirely.

So how can companies allow multiple users to share Excel files without these problems arising?

The Drawbacks of Shared Excel Files

Excel is a powerful and highly flexible tool that can be easily configured for an organization’s custom requirements. However, organizations often cannot fully take advantage of its benefits due to inherent limitations when it is used for collaborative business processes. Some of the issues organizations face include:

Version Confusion

It’s common for people to mistake one version of a spreadsheet for another, and the more times a shared Excel file is updated and exchanged, the greater the uncertainty and inefficiency. As revised versions stack up across the organization, it’s easy to lose track, and end up working on, or exchanging, out-of-date spreadsheets, which can have disastrous results.

Proprietary Data & Intellectual Property Vulnerability

Sharing Excel files may risk exposing proprietary data and intellectual property. Despite various security options available in Excel, spreadsheets are highly hackable, and the security features may not even be implemented, creating risk of critical information getting into the wrong hands, or that unprotected logic is subject to undesirable alterations. 

EASA’s Solution: Streamlined and Protected Shared Excel Files for Multiple Users

Businesses need a solution that eliminates problems associated with sharing Excel files that isn’t comparatively expensive, risky or time-consuming. EASA provides the perfect solution — software that offers version and access control, protects data, and can be easily integrated into the existing workflow. 

The software enables companies to ‘webify’ their spreadsheets, enabling access for users through a browser. This enables a user to make use of the functionality of the spreadsheet while not actually ever directly handling it. This includes functionality provided by VBA, macros and complex formulas, something that cannot be accomplished with solutions that ‘convert’ or ‘translate’ Excel files – a common approach used by MS Online Excel and Google Docs. And, since EASA is a low-code platform, it’s easy for non-programmers to build a custom web application themselves.

Here’s why EASA is the perfect solution for enterprises who need to share critical Excel files among multiple users.

Prevents Version Confusion

EASA ensures that only the current and correct version of your spreadsheet is being used. Since users access the web app version rather than the actual spreadsheet, any confusion is completely eliminated. 

Safeguards Proprietary Data & Intellectual Property

Because everyone uses a single, secure, centralized web portal, they will no longer have to download, edit, copy or email spreadsheets. As a result, EASA helps to keep intellectual property safe by preventing it from being exposed or altered. When updates to your spreadsheet are necessary, such as revising formulas or fixing errors, only authorized individuals can access the native spreadsheets through EASA, with its built-in security layer requiring user verification before access is granted.

Process Automation and Workflow Management

EASA is a powerful automation tool that allows other kinds of software, including in-house solutions, to be integrated, while data exchange in both directions is also automated. For example, rather than copy and paste data into a spreadsheet from a corporate database, EASA can automatically extract the data from the database, eliminating wasted manual effort, introduction of errors, or even knowledge of how to use the database. Where workflow management is needed, EASA can temporarily pause a workflow until a conditional requirement is met. For example, waiting to obtain approval before a quote can be released to a customer.

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