Excel is waning in enterprises with large, complex processes. Low-Code systems are moving up the pedestal.
Businesses are becoming larger, more complex, more distributed, and more reliant on data than ever. Digital services for businesses are on the rise. On the other end, Excel, relatively limited in its ability to cater to the compound, varied needs of today’s enterprise, is fading slowly, but surely. These are not two different trends. These are the effects of natural intellectual evolution. We could pretend that that’s sad but then this is not a pro-Excel post. You’ve seen enough pro-Excel posts.
This is a post that aims to dethrone Excel from its universally acknowledged high point, as far as large, intricate enterprises are concerned. We want, albeit against much resistance, your Excel discarded by the time you’re done reading this.
Enter, low-code systems. Relatively modern but possible game changers, these systems are easier, faster, and time-saving. The idea is to implement low-code platforms to manage processes of large enterprises and it is brilliant because these systems are built with ease-of-use in mind while providing superior functionalities. There is little doubt that they are potential Excel substitutes.
Now that we know that a worthy alternative to Excel exists, let’s take a look at why Excel is not the way to go if you have elaborate process management in mind:
Four Reasons Excel Is Not Your Best Friend
1. Excel’s ubiquity does not equate to efficiency
The first, and probably the most important, reason Excel fails is because apparently it has no downsides. I mean, look at it this way – what other application is relatively inexpensive, easily accessible, apt for most business data, and works offline? There’s none. And if there is, it is so far from pervasive I’ll have to use Google to look it up. Naturally hence, any situation arises, and the entire succession of personnel pulls out this bad boy. The start is smoother than butter, but in time someone starts noticing the shortcomings as they become obvious. The data entries keep becoming lengthier, and trust in Excel keeps diminishing. What entails is a lengthy process: abandoning the pursuit/ starting from scratch. Even then, Excel aficionados can’t be persuaded from going the extra mile, a.k.a manual manipulation, to do in Excel what can be easily done with alternative dedicated software.
2. Excel is not a database
Despite our anti-Excel sentiments, let’s put it out: Excel is good. It’s unbeatable, in fact. But only when the data is limited and structured and without much manipulation required. This is to say that if you do not have a minimalist style of working with data, Excel is not your finest resource.
Excel may be a labyrinth of tables but it’s no database. And it most certainly is no relational database. When it comes to huge amounts of data involving lots of redundancy, manipulation at various steps, inconsistencies, drawing relations between multiple tables, chances are, you won’t find Excel much help. If you still can’t be helped, come back here after you’ve rammed your head into the computer screen trying to do this.
Apart from these constraints, Excel isn’t particularly hopeful when it comes to other forms of data such as location, HTML, documents, or multimedia. There is no alternative to a database’s rich data handling unless you have exactly the tool you need (read: Senpiper).
3. Complex for untrained individuals
How can we, while we’re at it, forget Excel’s reserved, cold gaze, with its complex layout, to newcomers. Sharing an Excel file containing critical information and hoping the same file comes back to you is certainly optimistic. It doesn’t take long before someone or the other makes a wrong entry, deletes a row, inserts a column in the wrong place, etc. and before you know, the entire file is in shambles. And while this violation of structured, carefully placed data is not suddenly observable, the consequences, both cost-wise and purpose-wise, are tragic down the line.
Carefully curated data on Excel requires equally careful handling. Employees in charge of critical Excel data need to work with precision, since Excel data follows a per cell formula-based approach one wrong move can lead to a lot of damage, often only undoable with great manual effort.
In Excel, there is no way to avoid that cute little part where trainees get to manipulate critical data on their own terms and probably change the whole layout of the exercise.
4. Lack of collaborative and security features
Excel was not built for collaboration. It lacks necessary collaboration tools such as conversation features, discussion boards, file sharing, task lists, deadline record, form disclosure etc. Thus, using Excel in process management for, say, warehouses, it becomes difficult to keep track of progress amidst a plethora of parallel processes since collaboration is nonexistent.
On the other hand, sharing all files with all stakeholders to make up for collaboration is a compromise on the security end, since a lot of this data is critical and must not be made accessible to anybody but select personnel.
What is needed is a feature that allows access control of information (selective sharing) so the ideal measures of collaboration and security can be reached independently.
Why You Might Want To Switch To Low-Code
We have talked about some legitimate shortcomings of Excel. We have also talked about low-code platforms as potential alternatives to Excel. In the natural order of things, the next step, logically, is to direct you towards a ‘less Excel, more Low-code’ environment.
If you’re actually, at this point, looking for an ideal platform to take over Excel’s duties and more, we have just the tool for you. Senpiper, itself a low-code system, brings a dedicated digital process management application. Senpiper aims to revolutionize how industries work by providing One Resource, a mobile-friendly low-code platform that facilitates process management, working on the principles of user-ease and collaboration.
In the following table, we have defined some genres wherein Excel provides little to no functionality, while which Senpiper is (or, for that matter, most low-code applications in general are) designed especially for, which is how we gain edge over the established giant.
|S. No.||Feature||Excel||Low-Code Platforms|
|6.||Access control of information||No||Yes|
|8.||Low or no network support||Limited||Works without internet|
|9.||Conditional data inputs||No||Yes|
|10.||Data validations||Limited||Full regex support|
|11.||Integration with third party systems||No||Yes|
|12.||Notifications on data changes||No||Yes|
|13.||Alerts and reminders||No||Yes|
|16.||Change log analysis||Limited||Field level data record|
|17.||Time based analysis||Only current view||Flexible time series analysis|
Table 1.1: Excel vs Senpiper
Essentially, Senpiper shines because it services, exclusively, the user bracket that it is built to service i.e. the personnel that oversee intricate processes. It is for this domain that Excel is somewhat counter-productive. Senpiper packs an abundance of features, obvious and subtle, that make the whole deal of process management a lot easier. It challenges the notion of Excel’s all-pervasive robustness and demonstrates its dominance in said field. And it’s offline too. Safe to say, One Resource excels where Excel does not as much.
A sneak peek into some of One Resource’s functionalities
We guarantee no more head-rammings for you.