Monthly Archives: February 2016

Still using Excel for your staff rosters?

February, 2016

Still using Excel for your staff rosters?

Spreadsheets are the go-to problem solver for many businesses and can be great for many simple tasks such as cashflow projections, asset lists and purchase orders.

However while it may be an quick and easy fix, in many situations a spreadsheet just doesn’t measure up.  This is especially true when performing business critical tasks such as managing your financial and operational data and when you need multiple users to collaborate on a multi-step process.

This includes your staff rosters!

Many hospitality and retail businesses now realise the important role efficient staff rostering plays in their overall success. Using more effective methods of creating and sharing rosters enables businesses to be more efficient, provide their staff with better information and gain valuable insights into their operating performance.

Here’s a number of reasons why it’s time to move away from Excel.

Spreadsheets don’t support a collaborative workflow

Excel spreadsheets (and even cloud spreadsheet programmes like Google Sheets) can get messy when several contributors are involved and issues can arise such as multiple copies of the same file, security and privacy of information and ensuring a repeated workflow from one user to the next.

Contrast this with the built-in collaborative features of modern cloud based technologies permits interaction from all employees within a defined workflow and streamlines the process from start to finish/

Potential for human error

Here’s a hypothetical situation; Angela from accounts has spent Monday morning setting up a great spreadsheet, formulas and all – only to find the following morning that Jack, the Duty Manager from the previous evening, accidentally deleted one of the her formulas and all the figures for the day are now wrong and staff start turning up for the wrong shifts (or worse, not turning up at all!).

Too much human interaction can lead to increases in potential for error. Spreadsheets place too much dependency on the user’s skill and accuracy.

Record keeping

Whilst Excel does provide a form of record keeping, it isn’t as meticulous or robust as is necessary when attending to important management- or finance-related information.  Modern organisations need to ensure the correctness of all of their information and good change logs /  auditing processes form a part of this.

Visualisation of your data

live-costingWhose eyes don’t glaze over when presented with a multi-page spreadsheet full of tiny rows of numbers? While Excel does support custom charts these require high user skills to master and can be prone to error as well. Better visualisation of your data will lead to being able to make better, more informed decisions.

Tools that are built for a specific purpose will always out-do Excel in presenting relevant information in a useful and meaningful way.  Businesses should always be testing and measuring their key performance indicators and using the best possible tools to visualise that information.

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