Why spreadsheets no longer cut it (And where to go from here)

Business tools are hurtling forward into the future, with upgrades, new versions and disruptions driving the speed of innovation. Investing in and optimally deploying fresh tools and evolved processes, however, has made that much more complicated by the rapid pace of development. Many businesses become caught between a rock star programming tool and a hard place of legacy applications, leading to an array of compatibility issues.

Compatibility problems aren't just confined to software issues - they include users as well. Legacy applications such as spreadsheets can hold users back from developing their data-crunching abilities, restricting their productivity and curtailing the effectiveness of analytics initiatives. With the onset of more information and higher-powered, higher-performing applications, putting better tools in the hands of non-IT users can bring the organization to new heights, but trying to use old tools to accomplish the same goals can lead to the new approach falling flat. Next-gen technology, such as .NET DataGrid control, provides analytical technology with the specificity and scale that a modern approach requires.

Selling sales and marketing employees on self-service analytics
Spreadsheets have long been used to track sales - they offer a variety of features that can help companies and sales professionals look at their product data from many different angles, and they're relatively easy for workers and management to understand. Ensuring everyone is on the same page is important, but with the introduction of new DataGrid tools and analytics applications, that page probably shouldn't be a basic spreadsheet. Not when there are more viable opportunities available.

Forbes contributor Ian Altman recently wrote about the necessity of using analytics tools with more features for better sales assessments. In this day and age, it's not enough simply to track sales data and make judgment calls based on historical trends. Instead, companies need to combine this data with customer fulfillment strategies, back-end workflows and service approaches to develop an integrated system that is easily accessible and user-friendly for all organization stakeholders. DataGrid technology provides a powerful user interface experience, which employees can leverage into customizable and fine-tuned modes of analytical assessment, ensuring that smart decisions are made only after all variables are considered and data is visualized. With the ability to set groups and summaries, as well as filter data for only hyper-relevant results, self-service users can ensure clarity, accuracy and actionable intelligence in their sales analysis. This puts the user in the driver's seat and boosts the sales potential of the company on a whole.

Making payroll smarter with advanced tools
Payroll is another important component of modern business management that is increasingly difficult in an era of multiple scheduling, workplace and administrative variables. This is especially true for fledgling companies, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, wrote Business 2 Community contributor Dave MacKay. In most cases, spreadsheets just don't offer the tools to assure productivity and accuracy. They're at once too simplistic and require too many complicated workarounds.

"The issue is that most systems are incapable of producing one current view of payroll and all the variables affecting it," MacKay wrote. "A single, automated application is ideal, preferably based in the cloud and delivered via software-as-a-service."

Combining DataGrid technology with .NET applications ensures that employees can have access to spreadsheet-like tools that offer the interface and actions to which they're accustomed, but supports familiar features with high-performance analytical controls and a more secure, functional and interactive data-crunching experience.


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