Hello, I’m Ellen Williams, The Data Chick!
So, what does that really mean?
I help businesses select, implement, and adopt, the best technology that supports their people, processes, and the way they do business. Because, really, technology is supposed to be a tool to help you grow your business.
So let’s do some shop talk!
My favorite technology tool is a spreadsheet because spreadsheets are all about data – you know, Excel and Google Sheets. And, apparently, my clients agree.because they love spreadsheets too. Only, unfortunately, they are using it in lieu of a “best technology.”
I’ve seen spreadsheets being used for sales pipelines where you have all your contact information and columns with dates and follow-up information. I’ve seen it used for accounting where you’re entering checks and deposits like a check register. I’ve seen it used for editorial calendars in marketing with all the types of content and where you’re going to post them and what date. There’s also inventory control, shipping labels (yep, spreadsheet doing shipping labels), and project management.
What I tell my clients is that they should be using the tools that are made specifically for each of those different functions.
So. for a sales pipeline we’re talking about a CRM, for accounting and inventory, yep, we’re talking about accounting software, for shipping labels, there are templates that will work with MS Word or Google docs, and for your editorial calendar, a calendar really is a good option, and for project management there’s specific project management software.
Why would a business invest in these individual tools? 4 reasons!
First, those tools are built with best practices. They’re going to guide you through good procedures and policies on editorial calendars, on sales pipelines, on project management and all the rest.
Second, they’re going to reduce human error. If you’ve ever tried to enter information into a spreadsheet, columns and rows, it’s not really built for data entry. And if you’re using it with any kind of calculations, like in the inventory or the accounting, it’s really easy to overwrite those formulas and make mistakes. So the system you utilize to do that for you will take the human errors out of the picture.
Third, it’s a centralized location for your information instead of having spreadsheets on multiple locations, multiple different computers. Even if you’re putting them all on the cloud, understanding how your team members are using the spreadsheets can be difficult, especially if the team member is not available.
Fourth, reporting. All those tools offer great reporting so you can slice and dice that information and really help you grow your business.
Stop relying on spreadsheets to manage all the different aspects of your business and take the time to research and invest in the best technology tools to support the way you do business.