Spreadsheets Make Unstable Bridges

Spreadsheets Make Unstable Bridges

Bridging the gap between systems is a painful reality in many businesses, as data stored in one platform often needs to be combined with data in another to deliver useful information. For example, combining customer order histories with website visit or phone call data can provide valuable insights into customer loyalty.

Unfortunately, the most common tools to bridge the gap between different systems are spreadsheets, which time after time prove to be unstable structures for building your business.

The Weaknesses of Spreadsheets

While spreadsheets are an easy and inexpensive way to process your business data, they have a wide variety of problems that can end up costing a lot of time and money to correct. Consider some of spreadsheets’ biggest weaknesses:

  1. The more complex the spreadsheets, the harder it is to maintain accuracy.
  2. Tracking changes in spreadsheets shared by many individuals is very difficult.
  3. Spreadsheets simply offer a view of your business as a snapshot in time.
  4. Creating spreadsheets is a manual task and complex spreadsheets can be very expensive in terms of personnel hours.

Consider how willing you would be to drive a car over a bridge with that many issues. Not an attractive proposition, yet many businesses are doing just that when they rely on spreadsheets to bridge the gap between business systems.

Better Options for Businesses of All Sizes

The solution to this issue can take a couple of paths. For some companies, the adoption of an expensive all-in-one solution or full-blown data warehouse that combines all the organization’s data in one platform for reporting and analysis provides the biggest benefit. Besides the large price tag, the risk with this option is the difficulty of adopting new processes and procedures often leads to a less than complete transformation and uneven results.

For the businesses that Triple Helix has worked with, developing custom software, or portals, that automate data exchange, analysis and reporting has provided sizable business benefits for a fraction of the cost of a data warehouse or off-the-shelf software. However, the biggest benefit of a custom built “bridge” is how quickly the solutions are adopted by employees.

By building a custom solution, our clients were able address specific business needs with a solution that fit into and enhanced existing processes rather than requiring employees to adopt drastically different routines.

Since 2004, Triple Helix has provided data and information systems for the aerospace and manufacturing industries, as well as businesses in the service, healthcare, and non-profit sectors. Our solutions complement existing technology investments to avoid costly replacements. Contact us if you would like to schedule a risk-free consultation to see if Triple Helix can help your company better organize, access, and analyze your data.

About The Author: Jason Bittner

CEO and founder of Triple Helix Corporation, since 2004. Has worked closely within the Aerospace / Defense / Manufacturing industries for over two (2) decades, solving technical challenges with integrating data and information technologies with best business practices. Jason seeks to educate and inform his readers with the latest news about the information management space, along with insights into how best to operate our companies now and into the future.
January 8th, 2020

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