Today, every company from small to large is working to improve productivity by delivering more value to their customers. And business analytics and data analysis, which are the backbone of business today, help with this task. With the help of various tools, you can turn simple numbers into valuable information that will subsequently influence important business decisions.
Data processing, reporting and analysis for most organizations are spreadsheets, especially Microsoft Excel. They have become the de facto tool for both business analysis and reporting. But there are areas where spreadsheets can be really limiting as your business intelligence tool.
In this article, we'll look at some of the pitfalls of Microsoft Excel that you'll encounter if you use it as an analytics tool. We'll also give you an in-depth comparison of Microsoft Excel with Zoho Analytics and Power BI.
The main disadvantages of Microsoft Excel
- Wide range of data sources: The number of sources from which data can be obtained is limited. No direct integration with third-party business solutions (CRM, Helpdesk, Finance, etc.), which means that you either have to enter data manually or find ways to convert it into a file format that can be uploaded to Microsoft Excel.
- Big data: Business applications generate huge amounts of data that must be analyzed to make informed decisions. But spreadsheets cannot handle large amounts of data because the maximum number of rows in Microsoft Excel is only 1,048,576. Working with large data sets also means slow responses.
- Visual analysis and research: identifying hidden information is the ultimate goal of data analysis. With Microsoft Excel, the user must know the end result he or she needs to achieve before the analysis begins. Microsoft Excel does not support automatic analysis. In addition, charts are static. The user cannot interact with the charts, drill down or slice the data. This model will only allow users to create reports that can help them figure out the "what" instead of the "why."
- Collaboration: Once data is shared, it is fully available to the person with whom it was shared. The owner cannot restrict access to a certain data set or certain reports/dashboards. Setting permissions such as read/read-write only, etc. is also impossible. This forces the owner to create multiple copies of the same information to share differently with different users.
Main advantages Zoho Analytics and Power BI
- Connection to various types of data sources and direct integration with popular business applications.
- Processing large data sets: Zoho Analytics and Power BI work quickly and easily process large amounts of data.
- Visual analysis: allow you to visualize data by creating detailed reports and dashboards using an easy-to-use interface.
- Powerful formula mechanism: allow you to create key performance indicators, get business metrics and conduct in-depth analytics.
- Sharing and Collaboration: Zoho Analytics allows you to share certain reports/ dashboards with certain users/groups. You can publish and embed reports/monitoring dashboards on your blogs, websites and applications.
- Data integrity: everyone works with the same file with no duplicates.
- Reliability and security: detailed access control allows you to set permissions such as read-only, read-write, etc., guaranteeing the security of your data.
- Analysis on the go: A mobile app means you can access your data/reports/panels no matter where you are.
In conclusion, Microsoft Excel is designed for simple analysis. When it is used instead of a business intelligence tool, it can lead to lost productivity, slower retrieval times, and human error. It's time to move to a powerful, full-featured business intelligence tool. Go beyond Microsoft Excel, perform in-depth analysis and make data-driven decisions with Zoho Analytics and Power BI.