05th August 2019

Why Excel Is The Worst Choice For Forecasting (Unless The Other Choice Is No Forecasting At All!)

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Moving forwards is important, which is why very few people today sit down to work on analogue processers, or choose AOL as their preferred search engine. Those that do enjoy an extremely slow day at the office! Excel is rapidly joining that list of outmoded business applications, at least where forecasting is concerned.

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Here are a few reasons why:

1) Excel Wasn’t Meant For Forecasting

Strange, but true. Over time, people found that using a spreadsheet was useful for trying to predict trends and patterns, but the Excel software itself leaves most of the legwork up to the managers. This means that the basic structure of Excel is not optimised for the task at hand. As such, there are multiple opportunities for problems to arise. Reflex has designed bespoke software that has forecasting as its pure purpose.

2) Data Wanders Away

Excel is a security minefield. It has no location security, limited IP security, and only minimal cell locking and formula hiding capabilities. The internet is awash with free cracking programs purposefully designed for dodging any barriers that are put up. Added to this, anyone with access to a spreadsheet can simply copy and paste. All in all, Excel is an unfolding GDPR headache, and if you can read your forecasts, so can the competition.

3) Lack Of Accountability

Who added the data? It’s the unfortunate million-dollar question with Excel – and it can be quite literally worth a lost million if an error has been made. A system where anyone can casually log on and add numbers is a recipe for disaster, so it is no surprise that 88 per cent of spreadsheets contain errors. This is very risky for financial reporting, and leads to grave inaccuracies in forecasting. It also means that the suspect figures cannot be traced back to their source. Reflex software ensures that everyone who touches a document is tracked.

4) Lack Of Standardisation

A diverse team gives vitality to an organisation. It also causes problems, and these tend to manifest when people personalise their use of Excel. Everyone has their preferred methodology, and this can become confusing or frustrating for others. Reflex has a single, standardised, and optimised way of use that keeps everything clear and simple.

5) No Back Up

In this day and age, it is unfathomable that Excel cannot be backed up. However, this is one of the biggest software headaches amongst the multitude of sins that Excel is accountable for. It does not take much of an interruption for productivity to plummet, costs to rise, and forecasting inaccuracies to creep in. With Reflex, everything is disaster managed so that systems stay continuous, whatever the weather.

What Next?

When it comes to forecasting, the details matter. One of those details is the choice of proactive software. For more information, why not download our free Inventory Management Software Guide.

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