DataRails Presents: Excel, the ‘Team Edition’

Businesses thrive on team efforts; projects pieced together by several employees, with each member of the team serving different functions according to their individual strengths and capabilities. Sometimes team members operate out of different locations and other times the teams are formed inorganically, comprised of vendors, partners, subsidiaries and others. Companies need outstanding software to enable multiple employees to access, create, modify and manipulate data as a team. Spreadsheet applications, such as Microsoft Excel, are powerful and critical business tools, yet are strongest when used to meet personal needs. When it comes to team processes however, the standalone files are open to error risks and lack in areas including data validation, collection, consolidation, approval flows, file and version comparisons, history, traceability and analytics. DataRails, a revolutionary spreadsheet management system, focuses on bridging the gap between company’s team spreadsheet needs and the inherent risk that lies within enterprise sharing and collaboration.

Excel is a superior spreadsheet application for personal use. The program can be learned with ease, the data is presented in a clear, simple to understand, 2-dimensional format and allows users to enter, organize and manipulate the data with robust and flexible calculation functions.

It is for these same reasons that businesses love to use Excel as well. Yet, Excel was not created with multiple users in mind. While several company employees can easily access the same Excel file, businesses lack a surefire way to prevent human errors from occurring, or even reducing the effects of human error risk on low or poor Excel usage standards at businesses. Team members continue to unwittingly enter data incorrectly, override functions and formulas and incorrectly modify the structure of the data sheets.

File or spreadsheet management tools are available for enterprise sharing and collaboration purposes. A spreadsheet management or control framework is a program or structure formulated and implemented in-house or by a third-party software or consulting firm that defines the spreadsheets’ potential risks, as well as associated controls to be considered, in an attempt to reduce the chance and effects of errors on the entire project. Sharepoint, Dropbox and various other programs are examples of file management systems currently on the market.

Businesses benefit from using uniquely tailored spreadsheet management systems when it comes to document management and team collaboration, due to their ability to sync projects between all members of the team and their clear lack of compatibility issues, allowing for the streamlining of multi-user editing and updating processes. These programs tend to place emphasis on the “file” level of the process. As such, they notify users of project updates, including changes made to the spreadsheet and newer version availability. Yet, the systems do not understand the nature of the changes as they take place, whether they are significant to the success of the project and how they impact other aspects of the venture.

A gap remains between the input and calculation benefits of Excel and the seamless file sharing and updating capabilities of file management tools. Businesses want and need to enjoy the benefits of both systems. The ideal is for a company team to input data into a file and be able to successfully share, edit and perfect the project with minimal error and maximal effectiveness.

Only one spreadsheet management tool has been proven successful: DataRails!

The DataRails algorithm has revolutionized the field of spreadsheet management systems, by focusing on the spreadsheet’s data level. The cloud platform seamlessly integrates into a company’s existing work routine and utilizes a deep understanding of spreadsheet data’s structure and logic across multiple Excel files, versions and users and automatically converts it into a secure and solid SQL database, delivering unmatched trust in the data, as well as greater intelligence from the spreadsheet-based processes, with a single click of a button!

Companies utilizing complicated excel based team work for some of their standard business-related processes, including budgeting, planning, forecasting and project monitoring, are always on the lookout for technologies that would enable stronger team collaboration and improved efficiency and productivity. These businesses should consider implementing not only file management systems but also deep data control systems to reduce input and calculation errors and benefit from enhanced team processes and intelligence. DataRails provides the only service that understands and attends to all of businesses’ spreadsheet needs.