• Infographic

The life and death of the spreadsheet in 8 steps

When planning and budgeting, it’s tough to not resort to a spreadsheet. But what typically begins as a neatly designed solution can quickly become too cumbersome to alter.

The life and death of a spreadsheet

We’ve all seen how the effectiveness of a spreadsheet as an enterprise business planning tool can quickly run out. This infographic illustrates the eight stages of a spreadsheet’s life, from trustworthy data source to bottleneck process.

1

A good idea is conceived

Using simple and trustworthy data, a new spreadsheet is born.
Graphic: Spreadsheet Lifecycle Infographic

2

Cells multiply

A reliable source of information, into which line items, tabs, and formulas are soon added.
Graphic: Anaplan's lifecycle infographic

3

A vibrant life begins

The spreadsheet is shared with the team and numerous stakeholders get involved.
Graphic: Spreadsheet Lifecycle Infographic

4

Environmental side-effects

As macros and external data are incorporated, version control issues grow, and the understanding of the solution fades.
Graphic: Spreadsheet Lifecycle Infographic

5

The growth spurt

The spreadsheet gets bigger, extended scrolling is required, and tabs multiply. You begin relying on manual calculations and errors arise.
Graphic: Spreadsheet Lifecycle Infographic

6

Mid-life crisis

The spreadsheet isn’t nearly good enough. As dirty data and version control issues escalate, a database is added to the mix.
Graphic: Anaplan's lifecycle infographic

7

Bones begin to cripple

The database’s size and user limits are met too quickly, so a higher-end database fills the gap—except its bones are poorly designed.
Graphic: Spreadsheet Lifecycle Infographic

8

Death by numbers

The spreadsheet and database have reached their limits; few understand the spreadsheet’s life story, trust its data, or bother to resuscitate it.
Graphic: Spreadsheet Lifecycle Infographic

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