Spreadsheets are great as they allow you to quickly put in place new business processes in a systematic manor. However, they can become prone to error and are often difficult to work with if multiple people need to use the same document. By converting the processes in a spreadsheet to an online dashboard you can improve team user experience by having a well designed user interface driving the process. As the data is then web based this enables other things such as online graphs, automatic document creation and automatic reporting and notifications.
If you want a hybrid solution then it is possible to add a button to an excel or google spreadsheet that send the information in it to a web service. This has many uses from automatically populating a website through to running scheduled tasks on the submitted information. As a sheets grid structure allows them to be edited relatively quickly this can make it much easier to manually administer large sets of information.
Once your data is on a web site / server you could then use it to automatically generate a PDF document. This can often save a lot of time compared with manually creating and styling Word or PowerPoint documents. With this in place quotations and proposals can generated in seconds rather than hours or days in some examples.
They can also be a great way to prototype functions that could then be built into an app. If you can represent something in a spreasheet then chances are that these can be used to create a mobile or web based application. For example in the past we have made applications for flowchart based troubleshooting of hardware that have been driven by an excel document.
You can write macros or processes within a sheet to automatically output information in a standardised format, for example you can automatically output excel to HTML, JSON or XML. This is particularly useful if you already have an online system (or ERP system) that you wish to submit data to. Often you need to be able to comminicate with them via an API that accepts messages in one of these formate.
Want to turn your idea into a reality? Or, would you just like to explore the options to understand what is possible?
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