Excel is holding your company back

Excel is what is keeping your company from getting better. How do I know this? Simple, every company has huge aspects of their business that run on excel. Items that are more effectively put in a different tool.

The other day I got a ticket that was escalated through our help desk to my team, saying a site was trying to open a 128MB excel file over the network and well it was taking a really long time to open.

A few questions came to my mind:

  • Why didn’t anyone listen to the help desk guy who correctly pointed out it’s a big file and will be slow to open?
  • More importantly, why does our company need an excel file of over 100MB to run an aspect of our business?

So I talked to a few friends at other companies about this situation, guess what, they have the same problems. So I asked why is this happening?

  • Excel is easy to use and expandable
  • With Excel, you can quickly show data in a moderately readable format, and quickly create a simple chart
  • Databases are scary, and take time to build, and build right
  • The database team needed to do the work has priorities and needs budget to work, but excel is something the end user can do
  • .

Of course, I have end users who have their own terminal servers just because their linked excel files now take a PC 8 hours to calculate. Sadly they were excited when they got a more powerful pc that cut the time by 3 hours, when a database would take seconds to do the same calculations.

So now every decision that is made, you need to Ask your self periodically, now that I have grown, the technology has gotten better, or we learned what we like, is this still the right decision for us?


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