It's a common practice for businesses small and large to use spreadsheets in their business processes. The dependency of these files grows to the point of painful return.
Consider the common scenario:
Team A works on a simple spreadsheet for data tracking. This file (on a daily or weekly basis) needs to be sent to Team B as an input to their workflow. Unfortunately the update to the file was not complete. Team B needs to send the file with their changes back to Team A for updates and validation. Here are classic complaints of this common scenario:
- You are KILLING my inbox - We are now zipping 7Mb files to email.
- Can I change the way this spreadsheet looks? Answer: Yes- But it will mess up the formulas and conditional formatting.
- It takes forever to run the macros on this data.
- Some of this data (from 10 versions ago) was fat fingered. I wonder what else is wrong.
Picture the WebApp:
Team A updates a webbased version of their spreadsheet tied to a secure database. Team B has access to the database via the same webapp and is able to read and write on their timetable. The database and webapp apply version control, user access, routine backup and enhanced functionality. Classic comments:
- I didn't know that this web stuff was so fast and flexible.
- This thing corrects me every time I enter something wrong, saves me plenty of time later on.
- I get the solution to my data request right away. My macros used to take forever.
- Both my teams can work almost simultaneously. They communicate much better with this WebApp in place.
Yes its true. You can use conditional formats, data validation and scripting in spreadsheet applications. The problem is that over time managing these custom scripts files becomes a pain when going between different teams and business processes. Web based applications allows custom functionality without the overhead of large files. Yes its debatable, but why not limit the data tennis?
Telecom/Trunk ordering, resource allocation, reporting spreadsheets and the like can all be moved from 7Mb files (and growing) to a WebApp. Any questions?