Dear Spreadsheets, It’s over. 7 Reasons to Break Up with Spreadsheets

Many companies are still relying on spreadsheets, but they’re slowing businesses down and holding them back. The operational cost is way more expensive than most people think. Here are seven reasons why it’s time to break up with spreadsheets.

Last updated on: 
August 10, 2023
Janelle Raney
Janelle Raney
May 31, 2022
4 min read

Dear Spreadsheets, It’s over!: 7 Reasons to Break Up with Spreadsheets.

Many companies are still relying on spreadsheets, and it’s hurting their business. It’s been a love/hate relationship for years. Sure it appears to be a cheap and easy solution. But it’s not. It starts off as something that looks easy, but before you know it, you’ve lost data, you’re making decisions on bad data, and you start to realize what an incredible time suck all of this manual work has become. We’re here to tell you that it’s time to break up with your spreadsheets. 

At Pair Eyewear, the team previously used spreadsheets and documents, and processing CX data was a manual process to download and sift through tables or look at tickets one by one. “There was information all over the place,” said Ben Segal, Senior Director of CX at Pair Eyewear.

Spreadsheets are slowing you down and holding you back. The operational cost is way more expensive than most people think. 

In a recent survey, we found that while 88.4% of respondents want performance metrics and feedback, 84.8% aren’t getting it. This is clearly a challenge. Most teams have performance data from multiple sources, and pulling these together can be a challenge. Exporting files and combining them together is a mind numbing, time-consuming, and error-prone process. You may be trying to create a view of how someone is performing on CSAT, AHT, FCR, attendance, QA metrics. Asking managers to pull this data and make sense of it all in spreadsheets is a very expensive and slow choice. Instead of coaching and motivating their team, managers are stuck with data entry and checking for errors. 

“Information lived in so many different places. We were exporting all of the data from different platforms and using a lot of Google Sheets to look at it. Not only was it so much manual work, but also a lot of repeat work. Many of us were doing the same work to get base-level answers to the question— “How is our team doing?” — Caylen McDonald, Customer Experience Manager at MeUndies 

It’s time to break off the love/hate relationship with spreadsheets.  Need help making the case? Here are seven reasons you need to empower your team with Performance Intelligence: 

1. Not realtime

Not only are your managers spending way too much time creating spreadsheets to understand performance and track QA, but your frontline is flying blind and can’t react in realtime to adjust behaviors. With spreadsheets, your team is at best getting once-a-week updates. They aren’t able to properly prepare for their 1-on-1 conversations, and they are frequently being coached or confronted on stats that are from a week ago. Your team deserves real-time data to empower themselves to be agile and adjust to perform their professional best. 

Employees want environments where they are set up for success and can see the results of their work against goals and against their teammates. In our research, 43% say they would perform better with realtime performance data insights against their goals, and 35% say they would perform better seeing comparisons to peers.

2. Human error 

Copying, pasting, transposing reports, and creating calculations, can all be done with our flexible friend, the spreadsheet. But a lot of time-consuming, and sometimes costly errors happen too, because, hey, we’re human. And a lot of people became managers because of their people skills, not their data skills. In fact, Accenture found that only about one in five people are confident in their data literacy skills, and 74% of employees actually feel overwhelmed when working with data. 

3. Hard to analyze

Spreadsheets can be complex and some people might misinterpret or focus on the wrong things. Without easy visualization tools or AI-generated insights to highlight the important aspects of a data set or results, your team can get caught in the trees and not see the forest. The hours of work on spreadsheets are meaningless if your team finds it hard to understand how the data relates to their day job. They may see a lot of data, but still not know how they are doing, and what they need to do to improve. 

4. Loss of historical data 

Team members move up, across, and sometimes out, but you need to keep that historical data, and spreadsheets just aren’t designed to store, track or visualize historical data for reporting, planning, and goal setting. Pathlight is purpose-built with complex algorithms and rules to use this data properly. 

5. Not secure

Most cloud spreadsheets now have ways to track changes, but it’s not super obvious when something is changed. And it’s easy for the data to be downloaded, copied, and shared. 

6. Not accessible on the go or in the field 

Spreadsheets are hard to use on a cell phone or mobile device. Sharing performance updates, or QA spreadsheets with someone reading this on a cell phone is a sure way to be ignored. If you have field sales or support agents, your managers are likely spending even more time going an extra step from the spreadsheet to creating summary emails or chats. 

7. You’re managing spreadsheets when you should be managing people 

Most of our customers say their managers used to spend 4-5 hours a week managing spreadsheets. This is time better spent coaching their team. Alpha Foundations reported that prior to buying Pathlight, a third of their time was spent managing spreadsheets.

“I was spending one-third of my time writing, running, and analyzing reports. Now, Pathlight has given me back that time. I no longer need to spend time refreshing reports throughout the day. Pathlight consolidates and analyzes everything for me and I can focus on my team and current performance.” — Renee Dawkins, Director of Customer Care.

Are you ready to say goodbye to your spreadsheets? Contact us for a demo and see how Pathlight can help your team with realtime performance intelligence and QA. 

Want to see a custom demo of Pathlight or get help finding the right plan? We'd love to chat.

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