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.
Size limitation : When a spreadsheet is first constructed and tested, the size tends to be small. However, as the spreadsheet grows with more and more data, it start slowing down, until it reaches that point where your feet go to sleep while you waiting for the re-calculation to finish.
When your spreadsheet start to hit its limits, what options are open to you? Perhaps the best option is to consider the conversion of your spreadsheet to a database solution. Relational databases became viable not too long after the spreadsheet was well-entrenched as the affordable and quick means of gathering data and performing calculations.
Many spreadsheet applications nowadays have functionality above and beyond the traditional, offering a variety of charts, look-up tables, databases and more functionality than can be mentioned here.
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