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.
Elaborate, properly constructed spreadsheets greatly simplify a wide range of activities and processes within companies, enabling business owners to economize valuable time and effort, increase the efficiency of their business (Analysis), keep track of different tasks, manage their budget, optimize the planning of future events (Forecasting), organize and access valuable information, and optimize the completion of specific tasks. And thus, thanks to their many benefits, spreadsheet programs have come to be considered indispensable tools for businesses in today's competitive climate.
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.
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.
spreadsheet templates for tracking