Spreadsheets store data in a tabular format using interactive cells that can be manipulated, aggregated, and formatted using a point-and-click interface to transform that data into insights. Whether your preference is Google Sheets or Excel, spreadsheets are by far the world’s most-used data analytics platform. And in accordance with the trend in the overall field of data analytics, spreadsheets have made massive gains in recent years in terms of automation. However, many data professionals maintain a strong preference for Google Sheets over Excel, or vice versa. So how can spreadsheet-based data solutions help your organization, if they are not already? And how do you know whether Google Sheets or Excel is the right spreadsheet-based tool for your organization?

Why Spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are easily the most intuitive, ubiquitous, and best-supported way to store and analyze data in the world today. Whether you are a financial analyst investigating accounting records, an academic conducting an empirical study, an ecommerce marketer examining sales figures, or nearly any other data-oriented professional conducting any small- to medium-scale data task, spreadsheets are the tool for you. It’s no mistake that spreadsheets have become so popular; their versatility and approachability make it hard to choose any other tool. And because of the wide range of functions and customizations that are available on today’s spreadsheet software, automation has become an increasingly important benefit which spreadsheets can offer your organization.

If you are ready to enjoy the advantages of a spreadsheet-based data infrastructure, contact one of our data analytics experts at Boxplot. It doesn’t matter if you are a new entrant to the data-driven world, but don’t know where to start; we are happy to deliver our state-of-the-art spreadsheet solutions to clients at all levels of data competence.

Google Sheets – Benefits and Drawbacks

The Good

  • Allows multiple users to access the same spreadsheet at the same time, and is great for collaboration for that reason.
  • Free to use, up to 15GB of data, apart from the cost of the internet connection itself.
  • Allows integration of your data and visualizations with other Google products like Google Slides, Google Docs, Google Analytics, and more.
  • Access from any computer with an internet connection, while Excel files are usually only accessible on the computer on which they were created.
  • Built-in revision history options.

The Bad

  • Depends on your internet connection.
  • There aren’t as many formulas available compared to Excel.
  • There aren’t as many data visualization options compared to Excel.
  • Formatting is not as customizable as Excel.

Excel – Benefits and Drawbacks

The Good

  • Excel spreadsheets have access to the full range of functions and formulas.
  • Formatting functionality is fully customizable.
  • There are far more data visualization options in Excel than there are in Google Sheets.
  • Excel is usually much faster than Google Sheets because its speed does not depend on the speed of your internet connection.
  • For more advanced users, Excel allows for easier automation because of VBA, easier integration with R, Python, and SQL, and other sophisticated features.

The Bad

  • It is not quite as intuitive to use as Google Sheets.
  • Excel is an expensive product. Even the basic version costs
  • There aren’t as many data visualization options in Google Sheets as there are in Excel.
  • Excel files are usually only available from the computer on which they were created, which can create workflow problems.

So, moral of the story, Google Sheets is great because it is easy, convenient, and inexpensive to use, but there aren’t as many options as in Excel.

We have many blog posts about Excel and spreadsheets, including tutorials. Check out http://boxplot.com/categories/excel to learn more about line graphs, histograms and other topics related to spreadsheets.

At the end of the day, the decision between Excel and Google Sheets is largely a matter of preference. If you feel you need help selecting between these two great options, or generally need help with your organization’s data, contact us! Boxplot has gained a reputation as an industry leader in the analytics field, and we’re ready to bring your organization into the era of data with advanced, partially- or fully-automated data analytics.