Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 3: Instant Reporting

In the third round of this comparison of Spreadsheets and Databases we look at Instant Reporting.

Computers can compile information into useful outputs, like invoices, and insightful reports if we feed it the correct data.  Which of our two contenders will come out on top?



non-instant-reportingWith Microsoft Office, Excel can give you pretty graphs which you can tinker with for what seems like hours of pure pre-presentation pleasure.  But, it can be very time-consuming if you have to pull data in from several different sources to generate the report you need.  There is also the worry about the accuracy and age of the data.  Because there are so many manual steps required there is also a much greater possibility of human error creeping in.

So, with spreadsheets it is often a long-winded and complicated affair to get reporting for your business.  It is often so complicated a process that it has become someone’s whole job.  And what do you do if they leave?  Hmm, not looking so good for spreadsheets when it comes to instant reporting.


instant-reportingIn a database your data is stored in a structured manner which makes it very quick and simple to pull through in many different combinations to give you the level and detail of report or output you require.  It has all the same ability to generate visualy attractive graphs and charts, but with two distinct advantages.  First, you don’t have to manually combine and compile different data sources.  Second, the data is complete and up-to-date because you are pulling it from live data.

With a custom database your business reporting, both internal and external, requires only a few clicks.  You can select criteria, such as date ranges, and specify your reports to give you exactly the outputs you need.


Databases 3 : Spreadsheets 0

That was another easy win for Databases over Spreadsheets.  Perhaps Spreadsheets will make a comeback in the next round, Business Intelligence…

Here are some other articles you may find interesting:

  1. How To Get The Reports You Need To Guide Your Business
  2. Spreadsheets vs Databases Round 2: Task Automation
  3. Want To Delegate To Your Team? Give Them The Right Tools

Find out more about Working Data.  To find out how we can help you become more productive, efficient and creative, contact us.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *