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.
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.
Protection of formulae : How often have you forgotten to protect the cell contains the formula that took you hours to test and perfect. It takes one instance of honest human error, and that formula is gone.
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