How Will You Tell If Business Has Outgrown Excel

Excel has become the most widely used tool that business use to manage productivity. You might be using it to keep track of your employee shifts, different counters, monitoring and calculating your revenue streams and many other reasons.

Not only just you, but many other businesses are also more or less using Excel for the same reasons. The most widely used usage for Excel is that it serves as a storage and analysis tool. However, their ‘physical’ data is obsolete. Managing that data is inefficient and counterproductive. Excel might have worked for you when you were in the initial phase of your business, but as your business grows, Excel can’t keep up. Surprisingly, many companies are still using Microsoft Excel as their primary data analysis, and storage tool after they’ve outgrown it. Here are a few signs that Excel is not working out for you, and instead you should opt for custom software development.

You have to constantly reconcile spreadsheets

Have you ever encountered where multiple users inputting data in a spreadshseet? You look through a spreadsheet and felt something was missing or data wasn’t correct? Often this happens because you’re looking at the wrong version of the spreadsheet. If this is the case, you should be using a custom software application connected to a database that allows multiple users to interact with the data. With proper access and user roles, you’ll always have accurate, easy-to-manipulate information.

You need stronger calculations

Every business do not have experienced staff that can create impressive formulas, and having years of experience writing Excel functions. If you frequently find yourself using the heavy-hitting functions like PIVOT, VLOOKUP, and SUMIF, you’ve reached the peak of Excel’s ability.

Excel is not an analytical tool, it doesn’t have any more advanced tools to aggregate, manipulate or analyze data. Furthermore, Excel can’t make future predictions or evaluate historical data.

At this stage, it’s better to use customized software developed by a custom software development company that is more robust and efficient for your business. Custom software that allows you to produce elaborate reports, analyze data and automatically make stronger calculations.

Difficult to use version control

Version control is a procedure which is used to manage the changes being made to software,databases and websites. Furthermore, every change can be viewed by users so that they are aware of the changes being made by other users. In an ideal situation, version control systems make older versions of the documents easily accessible so time can be saved.

  • Excel has a difficult to use version control.
  • If two or three users are compiling their data and everyone has their own spreadsheet, then you will have to compile and organize all the different spreadsheets which is counterproductive and costs time and effort.

Your business should use a custom web application developed for your business, where data can easily be accessible by all users and then you can have a system where you have got accurate and easy to organize information.

Excel takes a long time to load

You know Excel isn’t doing its work when:

  • You are facing long delays when opening spreadsheets
  • You are managing your tasks around these delays.
  • Your computers are lagging.

The point of Excel is to improve productivity, not the other way around. You should have a system available with a database that has an easy to use interface and all users can easily store and organize their information in it.

Excel is not the ideal analytical tool

Excel has got a long list of complex formulas which you can use to get the job done. But in order to get proficient in using those formulas. You need experienced users. Besides Excel is limited in its uses.

  • Excel is limited in its analytical prowess.
  • Excel cannot be used for brainstorming.
  • Excel doesn’t produce reports using existing data and neither it can make predictions.

Excel can easily compromise your security

Every business has got confidential internal files and if they fall in the hands of outsiders you may have just compromised your security.

  • Excel files are not trackable.
  • They are easy to transport.
  • They can easily be accessed if uploaded on a shared drive. Thus posing a security and financial threat.

Excel cannot do automated tasks

Yes, the data is digital. But copy-pasting is not it still takes human effort.

  • Excel doesn’t work well with other solutions.
  • If you need to transfer your data you need to copy and paste it cell by cell. It’s a long process.


It’s important to regularly evaluate your tools, no matter how embedded they are in your business process or industry.

Excel is a good tool, but sometimes business grow and Excel doesn’t seem as simple as it used to be, but rather feels to be a burden now.

So instead of a massive spreadsheet operation, your business needs a customized software developed according to your business needs and workflow. The custom developed software can automate the tedious tasks, analyze the data that’s meaningful to you, integrate with your other systems (CRM, payroll, accounting, shipping, etc).

Does Excel cause you any challenges? If yes, you are in need of custom software development services for your business, email us at or fill in the contact form here, and we will definitely take care of your needs.

Chat with our team to see what we can do.

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