5 questions to ask if you have data on spreadsheets

Does this sound familiar?You started to hold some data about your business in a spreadsheet. Then you added some more and then kept adding and editing details from it.Soon you had a sizeable number of records and you began to share it with your team. Before you knew it the spreadsheet was being used by several people at one timeIf this is the case and you have some data on spreadsheets then you’ve risked some part of your business without realizing it.Go through these points to see what the risks are and some solutions:

  1. Is it (the spreadsheet) secure? Do you have it password protected? Is it easy to copy/download and take away with you? If it is not you risk your data being copied, losing your business info and at worst information being sold to your competitors or in the data market.
  2. Is it private? – Is it stored in an area with restricted access? Do you know who has access to the spreadsheet? If it has a free access to all you face the same risks mentioned above without you knowing it.
  3. Is it backed up?  is the spreadsheet stored in an area which gets regularly backed-up? This is a real risk for any sort of data that you are collecting. If you are working on it make sure you save it and back it up. Either store it in a place where your company’s backup systems will pick it up or store it to the cloud.
  4. Is it simultaneously editable? is the spreadsheet used by several people (more than 2) and can they edit it simultaneously? This is so common a problem that the ill-effects are often ignored. Lack of ability to edit simultaneously is a major efficiency killer. Time you can spend doing something productive is wasted waiting for the spreadsheet to be free. Teams often resort to other unproductive ways of dealing with this like, noting their changes somewhere else and adding them to the main spreadsheet later. Making a copy of the main spreadsheet on their PC, changing it and then uploading it to the main one – risking overwriting someone else’s changes. A good solution is to use a cloud spreadsheet like Google. But even better is to think if there is a system which can help with handling this data.
  5. Is it auditable? – Can you know who changed what? Lack of this will at best, make you wonder who change what – at worst will make you doubt the entire data.

The ideal solution for all these is to see if the data you’ve got can be captured and managed in an application. If not, follow the above points to make it risk-free and productive for your business.

Is this ‘TrueForYou’ or your business? Are you holding some (or lot!) of data in spreadsheets?
If yes, we can help to de-risk and improve efficiency.
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