The Eyesore that are Excel Spreadsheets

BY Jules Dalmacio Articles

The Eyesore that are Excel Spreadsheets

Look at the coworker to your left. Now look at the coworker to your right. We’d wager that ⅔, if not all of you, have glasses on. This could be because of all the strain you put your eyes on squinting at Excel sheets all day. Working on Excel is already tedious and the cherry on top is that there’s no way to make your work look pretty. No amount of organization is going to save your spreadsheet from being an eyesore.

Numbers, Labels, Highlights

Excel might be among the least flexible platforms to accommodate design, second only to a programmer’s source code editor. Heck, programmers can find ways to make writing code fun. There’s almost no way to get around the restrictive format of Excel. You work on cells, you can input alpha-numeric values, and at best you can color in cells with a highlighter. Your options are either walls and walls of text and data OR walls and walls of text and data with colorful highlights.

201 made Tedious

Close your eyes and picture a nice and well kept 201 file. Does it look like a one page resume with all the details neatly arranged in such a way that makes you know a lot about an employee at a glance? When you translate 201 data into a spreadsheet, you get a row of information for every employee, each column containing a different piece of data about said employee. On Excel, everyone looks like a statistic. If layout, design and aesthetics can breathe life into a well crafted resume, Excel can suck that life out. It doesn’t even let you add images without messing up the formatting and slowing down the file.

Overviews are Impossible

You can zoom out all you want; you won’t get the overview that you want. Sure, you can collect and store tons of data but that’s the most that Excel can offer. We know that data is meaningless if we can’t analyze what it’s trying to say and it’s difficult to analyze data in arrays and arrays of text and numbers. Excel is not a platform where you can easily fetch and visualize data. You have to set up your own data sets against each other and create your own visuals. You don’t have overviews of attendance, payout, disbursement and other forms of data on the fly.

You Can Get Lost in Data

When you land on an Excel sheet, you have to already know what you’re looking for because you will get lost in data. If you’re on a sheet unassumingly, at best you don’t understand what’s on there. But even when you’re on a spreadsheet with a purpose, once you get lost in the data, you could be navigating through the data improperly. This could potentially cause you to ruin data sets with an unintentional errant input.

Just how visually unappealing is excel? You work on it, and your eyes work extra hard to stay on track; it’s as hard on the mind as it is on the eyes. You need more fluid systems that lets you navigate and understand entries more easily so you can use more of that concentration and brain power on things that matter like analysis.

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