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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Dove

Excel for all occasions?

Yes, I love Excel but it has its limitations. It is akin to pencil and paper in the amount of freedom it can provide to users. Freedom is great for throw away spreadsheets, but once spreadsheets become central to a businesses processes, freedom needs to be managed in order to maintain the quality of data through minimising the risk of user error. For large scale organisations, Excel is unlikely to be central to enterprise level business processes because it is too hard to control and just not designed for the scale / sophistication required.

I worked for a mid sized organisation that deployed Cognos planner to replace spreadsheets for budgeting purposes. After about 3 years of work and possibly a seven figure investment, Cognos was dropped. It was too hard and expensive to maintain. So before we listen to corporate IT professionals whom frequently predict the demise of Excel, the cost of a dedicated system should be carefully considered in comparison.

There is a time and a place for Excel.

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