Last Updated on March 9, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
With the surge of numerous technological tools and enhancements, most of the information on the events that’s been happening around the world can be found by the use of the tool known as “Internet” alone.
Consequently, for a single event, we are exposed to more than one factor affecting it. It’s only natural to infer that these factors could possibly affect the outcome of these events in the future too. So, the question is how do we handle this information?
Where do we put it safely so that we can refer to it later? One of the widely used tools to manage data or, say, information is the use of the application software called Microsoft Excel.
Microsoft Excel, popularly known as Ms-Excel or just Excel, is a versatile application software developed by Microsoft for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS as a part of Microsoft Office Suite.
As the package reads Microsoft Office Suite, it is widely used for the purpose of calculation, collating data and information, visualization, and so on by the working group.
However, after recognizing the importance and benefit of having a working knowledge of Excel in the era with rapid technological enhancement, it is also taught to students, especially in high school, via the courses related to computer science.
As the world is being more data-driven, Ms-Excel is one of the software that offers us tools that help us work with the data through a different form of analysis. However, in the end, we cannot deny the fact that the data we are exposed to is not limited to 100 rows and 100 columns, it resides in a couple of thousands.
Consequently, Ms-Excel has limitations that we cannot deny when we want to consider the use of it. Thus, in this article, we’ll look at various aspects of Microsoft Excel that will help us get an insight into it and make a decision for ourselves.
Table of Contents
Pros of MS Excel
1. Easy and Effective Comparisons
If you’ve been in the world of business for quite some time, then you would know how frequently comparisons are done every time to understand the change in the stock market.
Not just business, professionals working in fields such as psychology, sociology, political science frequently compares the data are gathered to understand the trend in their research such as political data, how caste and income of a family interplayed in the past and now, and so on.
With the powerful analytical tools included, Microsoft Excel offers you the ability to analyze large amounts of data’s the discover the patterns that will influence the conclusion of the work you’ve been doing.
Some tools include data visualization tools such as graphs, histograms, box-plot diagram and so on. These tools help you analyze your data and structure your data accordingly without much complexity of doing them manually with hand and paper.
2. Accessibility and Collaboration
With the advent of technology, Microsoft has developed a web version of their applications from the Office Suite package. This allows you to work on the web version of Ms-Excel alongside your peers or colleagues, which technically allows you and your peers to have access to the Excel document from anywhere and manipulate it simultaneously.
Thus, if you’re working on large sets of data and stuck somewhere, then you do not have to wait until the next time to meet your peer or colleague to get help.
Also, Microsoft has developed Excel applications that can be integrated into smartphones such that the user can have access to the Excel file to view, edit and share it.
While Microsoft Excel is updated from time to time, the user might need the latest technology to make the best out of this software. However, this does not restrict the user from running the software on their low powered PC or Laptop.
3. Data and Analysis
Excel is a great tool for data analysis not just because we can store our data and perform calculations, but also because of several tools it offers within itself.
Powerful filtering, sorting and search tools enhance user’s ability to efficiently narrowing down the criteria that are taken into consideration in making decisions. Thus, allowing the user to play around with a huge amount of data in an efficient way.
Consequently, the concept of tables, pivot tables, and numerous visualization techniques combined with the above tools can help the user find information that he or she wants promptly despite a huge volume of data items.
Cons of MS Excel
1. Control and Security
Sometimes the data and information we’re exposed to are huge in size. When the file is too large, it can make the excel program run very slow since the interpreter/compiler needs to go through each and every row and/or column. The easiest way to make sure that excel is time-efficient is by breaking down the file to smaller files. However, this can lead to some of the data’s being lost or misplaced.
Also, Microsoft Excel uses an approximation on very large numbers using imprecise calculations. Thus, this also compromises accuracy and the user barely has control over it since this feature is inbuilt.
So, if there are different people handling the input of same file then the file is susceptible to errors and inaccuracy. These mistakes are not only hard to locate further along the process but can also negatively affect the bottom line.
2. Data and Growth
At this point, it is fair to say that Microsoft Excel is an ideal tool for performing a one-time analysis. However, this might not mostly be the case.
Microsoft Excel is prominent in the business world and, with any business, you’re constantly striving to improve. With time, the data grows and evolves. So, you need your data tracking tool to grow with you. However, Excel doesn’t perform better in this front.
To put it in a simple way, the growth of your organization is directly proportional to the number of Excel spreadsheets, which opens out your information further apart. Thus, this makes the organization/user hard to be able to keep up and could possibly lead to bad results and decisions.
3. Time Inefficiency
The data does not enter into the spreadsheet. The user has to enter each and every bit of it manually.
Thus, it can take a long time especially if you have a huge amount of data, making Excel inefficient in terms of time efficiency. Also, entering a huge amount of data could potentially lead to errors since most humans can be attentive just for a certain period of time.
From its pros and cons, we can say that Excel’s efficiency depends on the kind of task the user intends to perform. Excel is an ideal tool for prompt analysis of the data’s the user has. However, if the data is significant for the future of an organization then it might not necessarily be an ideal tool for working with every kind of data.