Anyone in the business world has heard the urban legend about “Big Data” and how it’s growing at an abnormally fast rate, leaving companies in shambles. But how much of a threat can it really pose? It’s not like it’s growing at an alarming rate (oh wait, it is), or costs businesses money (oh yeah, that too), or leads to less accurate decisions (whoops).
But really, let’s forget the facts for a moment. Implementing a business intelligence (BI) tool is clearly a horrible idea. Here are 5 reasons why. (And yes, this is totally meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek, with a nod to BuzzFeed.)
Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular software applications, and with good reason: it’s easy to use and helps you quickly and easily analyze data and perform simple calculations. It also allows you to visualize this data via simple charts and graphs.
But far too many people rely on Excel for more robust data analysis. Using spreadsheets for business analytics can get you in trouble. Spreadsheets can contain thousands of links, formulas, and cell references, creating many of opportunities for error. A cell reference that is off by even one row or column returns significantly different results than what you want, and can place your company at significant risk.
Did you just email that spreadsheet with confidential employee information to the entire company? Unfortunately, spreadsheets lack both security and an audit trail. [image source: https://www.someecards.com]
In this blog series, we’re looking at 5 things you should consider if spreadsheets are used for business decision support in your organization. We’ll also outline an action plan to help you transition your organization to a more robust business intelligence solution for analytics and business decision support.
In a previous post, we documented a long list of research proving the high error rate of spreadsheets, and we discussed how spreadsheet errors have recently made headlines causing financial risk and the risk to one’s reputation for two well-known financial services brands.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about the next consideration you should take into account if you’re basing critical business decisions on spreadsheets.