Organizations find new uses for Excel

Many organizations hold onto tried-and-true technological assets that they've used for years — nowhere is this more prevalent than the continued use of Excel software. While the program has been falling behind intensive big data needs lately, it still serves essential functions for many businesses. These can include scheduling, inventory tracking, accounting and data visualization. While the legacy methods may not be as advanced as current trends, Excel still offers users the ability to create comprehensive images and reports that are easy to understand, making the program a necessary tool for companies.

Getting the most out of Excel
Employees use Excel and spreadsheets on a daily basis to complete work-related tasks, but using an antiquated process can often lead to missing out on important benefits and potential revenue opportunities. However, TechRepublic contributor Susan Harkins noted that users can change their strategy in order to validate a workbook that's outgrown its original purpose. For example, if employers want to calculate absentee hours, there are numerous formulas and details that must be considered in the final tabulations. With all of this information, it can be difficult to manage it all at once. By implementing the right codes within Excel, users will be able to keep up with a quickly growing business.

"Sometimes, the business simply outgrows the workbook's original purpose, and that's a good problem to have!" Harkins wrote. "When this happens and you can't rebuild, rethink. You can use the downloadable .xlsx and .xls files to discover a different solution, but to make things interesting, try to maintain the user's limitations."

Mixing spreadsheets with current trends
Excel has been a staple of many user processes for years, but as time passes, the viability of the solution deteriorates. Business 2 Community contributor Ben Peterson noted that spreadsheets can often hold back organizations as workplaces become more focused on flexibility, speed and efficiency. However, by hosting spreadsheets alongside innovative technology like the cloud, decision makers can provide their staff with a system they're familiar with and ensure that it's always accessible. With cloud capabilities, employees can collaborate on documents and ensure that they have the right calculations displayed in the sheets. This will help increase the accuracy of reports and enable supervisors to make effective choices.

Many people have written off Excel as an outdated system, but innovative technology like the cloud is bringing new life to the program. This integral need cannot be ignored and should instead be enhanced. By incorporating a cloud-based environment, employees will still be able to work with their programs and leverage benefits of the new service.

"A new system can streamline operations that are now wasting hours and hours of employee time with their inefficiencies," Peterson wrote. "When you have all information in one database in the cloud, it's easy for those who need access to information to have it — right at their fingertips from pretty much anywhere they have an Internet connection."

Building the next generation of Excel
As enterprises allow more personal devices into the workplace, one program has been missing for many users: Microsoft Office. However, this will soon change with an important release in 2014. A new version of the program will debut this year for Mac users, coming at no additional cost for Office 365 owners, according to TechieNews. In addition, there is a possibility that the manufacturer will also be delivering the software to iPad, which would appeal to the numerous individuals that use the hardware for work. While this has not been confirmed, the potential tablet application will help spreadsheets be easier to access for a new generation of employees.


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