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.
Today, there are a large number of options to choose from. The downside to upsizing your spreadsheet to a database system is that databases require fairly in-depth knowledge, especially with regard to extracting data in queries, form construction and reporting.
Over time, the spreadsheet grew into what we see today, in the form of Microsoft Excel and a number of similar products on the market. The power of the spreadsheet has grown almost exponentially, allowing the user to create customised formulae, charts, pivots and so on. Worksheets can be linked and updated automatically.
Spreadsheet: A table of rows and columns, free for the entry of data, or formulae for calculating actions on those data. Each row or column is said to contain many 'cells' and these cells serve as 'homes' for every shred of information.