Bar none, the spreadsheet has made the most significant impact on business beyond any other software. It is the glue that ties our disparate systems together, it is our personal data wheelbarrow and our final canvas for our ideas.
I enjoyed Bob Warfield’s post, ‘An ode to the humble spreadsheet’. He said it best by referencing Alan Kay describing that spreadsheets allow business people to be “pilots of their binary biplanes”. Biplanes are far from current technology but what is simple gets it done. Here is the link to the article… http://www.zdnet.com/article/guest-post-an-ode-to-the-humble-spreadsheet/
Although we have seen spreadsheet software expand their features over the last 15 years, I don’t see any revolutionary changes. Even with better pivot tables, prettier graphs, better connectivity, and collaboration options, their use hasn’t changed much. I feel spreadsheets are still encouraging us to live in yesterday’s technology today.
We keep expecting more from mobile and website applications but we don’t typically question the role of the spreadsheet.
Ask yourself the following few questions:
- When is the last time you clicked ‘File, Save As’ when you found something interesting while browsing the internet?
- When you last noted an interesting link in a website, did you call your staff to find out where it is saved?
- Have you recently sent an email to your bank to confirm the numbers in your online bank account was the latest version?
I don’t think we need to look far to find inspiration on what can change the spreadsheet game for the future. I already see companies doing their best to put the spreadsheet in the cloud. But maybe we need to look at doing a better job of putting the cloud in the spreadsheet. Let’s see what it could mean if we blur the lines between the spreadsheet and the browser.
I believe what we are doing in this company is going to help illustrate how much further it can go. The lines will continue to fade between reports and interactive applications, between your software and your internal processes, and between where you get your data and where you use it.
It is just the start and we hope to find others with a similar passion. Please connect with us.
Keep learning, never stand still.