There are more than 30 million users worldwide who use spreadsheets to manage operations.
Tell me how many spreadsheets do you use? 4, 7, 10, 12…
If you are somebody juggling with 5-10 spreadsheets a day; then chances are, at some point you are going to mess up or maybe you already do.
Sometimes, you can of course rectify little errors. Also, to err is human. But what if one error costs you $6 billion trading loss. In 2012, J.P. Morgan Chase announced that it had lost billions because of a tiny copy paste spreadsheet error.
Excel is no doubt an excellent and a preferred tool. But what’s the point when in the end, it results in redundancy, vulnerability, lack of productivity, and time waste? On the contrary, with a mobile app, you can automate these tasks and instead focus on other business strategies and growth planning.
Curious to read more about it? Keep Reading!
In this post we will discuss the whys and how to turn excel spreadsheet into an app.
Here’s what the blog covers:
- Benefits of Apps Over Spreadsheets
- Types of Apps You Can Create?
- Main Features of The App
- No-code v/s Custom Development – What to Choose?
Why Mobile Apps Are Better Than Spreadsheets
Spreadsheets are the storage house for businesses. Business owners use them to manage data, analyze risks, predict outcomes, plan projects, and more. When you turn excel spreadsheet into app, it simplifies all these processes and leads to hassle-free communication within and across teams.
In this section, we will discuss what are the most common challenges that excel spreadsheets pose, and how a mobile app can help overcome.
1. App Reduces Chances of Errors
One of the major drawbacks of an Excel spreadsheet and the reason you should get rid of it is that it’s error prone. Spreadsheets allow multiple people to amend and add information. Sometimes this leads to errors and tampering – intentional or otherwise. One entry of inconsistent or incorrect data, can result in wasted time, and in the worst-case scenario; loss of millions. Moreover, spreadsheets create a great deal of uncertainty because there are many versions of it. At times, multiple or incorrect copies can create an incorrect data entry.
On the other hand, if you turn excel spreadsheet into an app, you can avoid these potential errors. The mobile app automates data entry, estimates, communication, sharing, and other manual tasks, thereby eliminating errors. Secondly, with an app, each user can see the information that you want them to see. This way, you can control who consumes sensitive information about your business. The version confusion no longer exists if you have an app. A mobile app will ensure that all your data is at a single place and not scattered.
2. Apps Are Secure
Do you think the ‘lock’ option or password protection is enough to secure all your data? Well, not always.
Sometimes, hackers can figure out the information with a simple Google search. With dynamic data exchange methods, hackers can embed malicious content from external databases into sheets. It results in loss of confidentiality and credibility.
Did you know that 38 percent of malicious file extensions are Microsoft Office files? This includes files in the Word, PowerPoint, and Excel formats.
If you want to keep your data secure then it is crucial to turn spreadsheets into apps. By doing so, you can restrict user rights to the source file, encrypt data, and host everything securely in your
environment. This means, only the admin can access the data. You get control over who can see the data and limit 3rd party entries. When building an app, we recommend setting an expiry date to your app. After a certain date, users will not be able to access the information.
3. Apps are Flexible, Easy to Use, & Scalable
Excel spreadsheets are good to store data. However, they do not give you the functionalities of a database. Nor do they support complex data types or relations between different sets of data. Moreover, spreadsheets do not allow real-time data sharing multi-user input. This makes it difficult for employees to collaborate.
Another biggest disadvantage of excel is that it is not scalable. As your business expands, holding onto sheets and piled up data can be daunting. Besides, if a major disaster strikes, data recovery can be challenging. Storing data on the cloud using Google Sheets or Excel, and others can be a solution. However, you would still have to go through the Excel sheet manually. All of these put together make your business operations slower and difficult.
Thus, to improve efficiency and scale operations, you should turn spreadsheets into apps. An app can help you fetch the data within seconds using filters. With an app, you can offer users the benefit of easy access to data. Moreover, you can provide access to multiple-users without the risk of data getting exposed.
4. No need for tracking
Have you ever had an experience where you’re trying to find a sheet from multiple lists of spreadsheets? Or you don’t know where the sheet is among the hundreds of folders. Maybe, the sheet consists of thousands of entries and complex priority tasks, and you have to find one among them. What if a new joinee doesn’t know the name of the sheet or the folders?
You can’t keep track of all these tasks manually. How would you? Use an Excel sheet to keep track of all the other Excel sheets? Please tell me that’s a joke!
If you turn a spreadsheet into an app, you and your staff won’t need to track the data. You can simply access the data from the dashboard or modules. Even if the data gets deleted, you can retrieve it from the cloud backup. Instead of talking about whether the folder is, teams can discuss creative ideas and business implementation strategies. On the broader front, it would reduce redundancy and improve communication among the group.
5. Apps Build Brand Name
While spreadsheets will only help to manage data, mobile apps can help in creating a brand identity. Cadbury has a project management app, and it provides its worldwide distributors with access to the app. It enables the distributor admin and the staff to communicate seamlessly and reflect transparency in target achievement data. The admin can view all the distributors’ details across the world – region-wise, their targets, and plan the upcoming deliverables accordingly.
The built-in email & SMS notification, quick emails, precise reports, hassle-free communication within teams, etc. are the other advantages of having an app over a spreadsheet.
Want to turn excel spreadsheet into an app? We can help you build a custom app with robust functionalities.
What Kind of Apps You Can Create?
The common use of spreadsheets is for data collection, computation, statistical analysis, formatting, and task management. Based on these functionalities, you can turn excel spreadsheet into an app. Here are different types of apps you can build
1. Computation App
Excel calculators involve simple to complex calculation formulae. Many industries such as finance, personal finances, manufacturing, energy, automation, and more require multiple calculations daily. Deciding to turn spreadsheet into an app will automate the data process (auto-calculation of budget, EMI loans, PF, taxes, bond values, debts) and optimize usage. Further, the data charts and graphs can help with business planning.
2. Business App
If your business uses spreadsheets to manage customer details, product details, simple computation, to-do lists, you can go for a business app. It’s a prevalent model and applies to every industry and business. Along with primary task and data management features, you can also include internal chats, schedules, forecasts, break-even, profit and loss, budget impact models, and high-level economics.
3. Medical Practice App
Medical professionals can turn a spreadsheet into an app and enjoy several benefits. An app can help them collect patient details such as their medical history and experience, manage tasks, documents, appointments, and schedules, along with other operational and administrative purposes.
4. Health and Fitness App
Health and fitness business involves several tasks like maintaining client records, class time,managing bookings, etc. If health businesses turn spreadsheet into app, they can control all these activities within a fraction of seconds. Besides, the app provides graphs to gain insights and keep up with the routine.
This space also involves BMI calculation, calorie counter, blood pressure calculator, and more. By creating a computation app, you can simplify these calculations.
5. Insights and Dashboard App
Insights app can provide you the complete business details in reports and graphs in one place. If your business runs on numbers, insight apps can provide real-time reports by auto analyzing the data. Dashboard apps can come in handy for managing the advertising campaign details.
Generally, businesses use these apps for sales and marketing, though it’s not limited to that. Production and logistics industries can use it to view and manage stock inventory lists, etc.
Note: Dashboard is an integral part of every app. It provided a holistic view of the business in one place. However, the integration of features depends on your business requirements.
6. Audit and Quotation App
You can turn Excel spreadsheet into an app to automate the audit and quotation process. By entering the required data, you can easily create an audit report and generate a quote. Moreover, you can easily send the report/quote to the respective person through email or other sharing features. You can have an in-app quote related conversation with the vendor.
All these are some niche-specific applications performing basic tasks. Spreadsheet apps are not limited to a few industries in a broader sense. It’s like an ideal manager’s digital version that knows everything and manages every activity with perfection.
Main Features of The App
What are the features that you need to consider when you turn a spreadsheet into an app? Let’s find out.
- Calculator on the go: Ensure that your computing app or other apps that require calculation does it automatically. For example, the credit card calculator must auto-calculate the installments and payoffs by retrieving customer data and credit scores.
- Collaborate in real time: With this feature, you and your team members can stay connected and make real-time changes. For example, if a member makes a change in data, it should be visible on all the connected devices and apps accessing the data.
- Filters: One of the biggest advantages an app offers is the affinity to filter information. So, make sure that your app has a well-designed and functional filter feature. With this feature, you will be able to search the data, module, and everything else.
- Offline support: Allow data access and editing even when there’s no internet connectivity. An app with offline support will help you create a better user experience. A good idea is to prioritize the features that you can’t do without. Share that information with the developers and they will suggest technologies as per your requirement.
- Text-to-speech: Provide a voice over service for entering data like a form filling, customer details, replying to a comment, or a message.
- Digital signature: The use of eSignatures has become widespread. To verify the data and ensure its security your app needs to have a digital signature option.
- Modules: Self-adding sections allow creating different modules based on other teams, such as the development team, marketing team, sales team, etc.
- Cards: A feature that lets a user add the data in the card forms (remember sticky notes). With cards, you can add all the tasks, notifications, and other data quickly in a systematic order.
- Drag and drop interface: This feature provides an interactive way to manipulate data. Drag and drop interface allows easy customization of the app, adding modules, cards, colors, fonts, and more.
- Social Sharing: With this feature exporting and reporting email, WhatsApp or other channels becomes a lot easier.
- Internal communication: Communicate with the team on different tasks, events, or updates internally through a chat system. It replaces those ways of chatting via comments and notes on spreadsheets.
- Charts and graphs: Provide different forms of graphs and charts for clear business insights.
Let’s help you build a feature-rich app that will streamline your business operations.
No-code v/s Custom Development – What to Choose?
The no-code industry is gaining popularity recently. Such platforms allow you to build an app with a simple drag and drop option. There are third party apps available too. Apps like Hubstaff Tasks or Trello makes task management and data entry much easier.
In case you are in a dilemma to consider these options or go for custom development, we would like to alert you about the pros and cons of no-code. So, let’s settle the no-code v/s custom approach debate once and for all.
No-Code Platforms vs Custom Development
In the tech-savvy world, it is essential for businesses to invest in intuitive solutions. And tech tools are those weapons that help entrepreneurs to streamline their workflow. No-code app building platforms are one such tool that have simplified the development process. The result that you get is a decent flexible product by choosing from a variety of templates available.
When we look at the tailored approach, you get a more unique, sophisticated solution which is undoubtedly a better option when you want to expand your reach. When you have a team of developers and designers who know their job in and out, you get a functional end product that fits your business.
Here are some basic differences that you need to know before making a choice:
- Customization: The components are pre-built in no-code. This means you have limited options to customize your app. While in the tailored approach, professional developers do the coding. You tell them your idea and they’ll give you the solution according to the trends and your needs.
- Development Cost: Simply put, no-code tools are pocket-friendly as compared to the later one. But! What if after launching the app, you do not see desired results, and you have to recreate the whole thing. On the contrary, custom solutions can be expensive but the end-product will be a completely functional app.
- Security: Remember, no-code does not mean there is no security. Such platforms allow more people to develop apps which creates more vulnerabilities. With custom development, you can be relaxed because there is an efficient team handling your project.
Both custom and no-code have their perks and challenges. If you want a custom app to streamline your business, we can guide you through it.
Ready to Convert Excel Spreadsheet into App?
For simple data entry and data analysis tasks, an Excel spreadsheet is a ubiquitous office tool. However, when it comes to generating reports, it’s a slow consolidation process. Users and staff would have to collect the data from different files, summarize it, and then share it with the leads through emails, portable storage media such as USBs, or copy-pasting on a shared network.
Having an app has tons of benefits. It not just makes your task convenient, secure, and accessible but it’s a good tool for increased recognition. It’s high time you turn excel spreadsheet into an app.
How Biztech Can Help You
After several brainstorming sessions, market research and creating a scope document, we venture into the app development stage. Once we create a well-designed wireframe (a floorplan of your app), the next step is to visualize the functionalities of the app. Then comes prototypes and MVPs where our team checks if the set functionalities are efficient. Only after considering the feedback, we begin working on developing the app.
At Biztech, our expertise lies in various technologies and can help you with:
- Application Framework
- Programming Languages
- Cloud Storage
- Cloud Hosting
- Automation Frameworks
- Voice and SMS API for SMS, Voice, and Phone
- Messaging & Communication
- SQL Data Storage
We specialize in mobile app development for both platforms, Android as well as iOS and cross-platform apps. Drop us a message and our project manager will guide you through all the crucial steps.
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