Regarded as a very effective and reliable means of data management, monitoring valuable financial data, as well as optimizing processes involving frequent data entry and manipulation, spreadsheet programs have rapidly become popular among businesses of all types and sizes.
When VisiCalc hit the scene back in the eighties (in the last century), the relatively small group of Apple II users went crazy. It was like manna from heaven for the poor accountants, scientists and engineers who were used to filling in enormous analysis sheets with a pencil. Now, they could use VisiCalc to do the same task, AND calculate the result automatically.
Early databases available for the PC market were simple two-dimensional solutions and were essentially designed as a record-keeping system. However, when computing power increased, the advent of the relational database became an affordable option. Applying the rules proposed by Edgar Codd, the Database Management System (DBMS) became a reality, with products such as dBase being widely implemented in the desktop market.
For pure data analysis, the spreadsheet is, indeed, king. To a point...Despite all of these extremely powerful features, the spreadsheet has limitations, which tend to manifest when you least expect it. Often, Murphy's Law applies and the spreadsheet falls over when you are right in the middle of a major undertaking, like month-end or meeting a tight deadline.
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