Excel is one of the most popular programs ever made, but it could be costing you thousands of dollars per year. That’s what was happening at Candy.com. Instead of automating their reporting, they built reports manually, week after week. On one hand, this process made sense. After all, the team was familiar with Excel, and they were comfortable using it day-to-day. However, when they did the math, it was clear their allegiance to Excel was costing them. After they added up all the labor they could save by automating reporting, it came out to around 13 hours per month. For Candy.com, this translated into $6720 per year. Excel is a great tool, but if you build the same reports every week, you should consider automation.

Excel is Manual

Some people take pride in their ability to use Excel, but reports aren’t about craftsmanship, they’re about business. You shouldn’t be building the exact same report week after week, even if you enjoy it. If the only variables that change are in the data itself, there’s no reason not to automate. With tools like iCharts, you can build your report once and it will update on its own. Once you automate basic reports, you’ll have time to build new, more advanced reports. Whether you want to take report building off your plate or unlock deeper insights, letting go of Excel and embracing automation is the way forward.

Excel Uses Static Data

When you import your NetSuite or ERP data into Excel, your live data becomes static. By the time you finish making the report, it’s outdated. Still, even if your business is happy looking at old news, static data can be a problem. For one, static data puts everyone on a different page. One department might put out a weekly report every Monday, while another department might put out a report every Tuesday. Instead of drawing their own conclusions from the same data, stakeholders have to spend the beginning of meetings figuring out whose numbers to trust. By automating your reports and switching to a real-time solution like iCharts, you can end this confusion and rally around common data.

Excel Disrupts Your Processes

Excel can add time-consuming steps to your workflow. Even with an Excel power user at the helm, building reports takes time. If you’re working on an email campaign, you might want to analyze numbers from the last campaign. Yet you might not have time to build a report or wait around for someone who can. Instead, you’ll probably turn to basic insights, outdated data, and educated guesses. With an automated approach, real-time insights are sitting there, ready when you need them.

Excel is still one of the best business tools on the market, but it has its limits. An overreliance on Excel isn’t just inefficient, it can be downright costly. By automating things like building reports, you can free up valuable time and resources.

For a closer look at automated reporting, check out our resources page