29. August 2019

Every Company Has a “Spreadsheet Fabric”

When talking to people about their spreadsheet usage, I’ve noticed that spreadsheets are so ubiquitous, people tend to underestimate how much they actually use them.

Asking “How often do you use spreadsheets?” is almost like asking “How often do you use the Internet?” (or “How often do you use oxygen?” for that matter).

This is even more true of organizations as a whole. People underestimate how much their organizations rely on spreadsheets, assuming they are an outlier and everyone else is using “the real stuff”. What is more, managers, admins and IT people may be the ones that understand their organizations’ spreadsheet usage the least. They assume that the formal IT systems are in better shape than they really are, and that people are following the “rules” more than they really do.

But — as we’ve covered before — spreadsheets are the knowledge worker’s way to get stuff done. And if your company is getting stuff done, a lot of that is probably getting done with spreadsheets.

The reality is that every organization has a “spreadsheet fabric”, a growing collection of workbooks ranging from standalone one-off working documents to a mesh of interconnected workbooks that run critical processes for years — even decades.

When talking to investors for our Seed round, I would point this out. A line that worked well was that I believed that: up to 50% of a typical organization’s proprietary business logic is in spreadsheets and not in the formal IT systems such as their ERP or CRM

That was until I met a couple of investors with deep ties to Microsoft. They flat out laughed at me (usually not a good sign in a VC meeting) and then told me I was wrong: “It’s more like 90%!”. We’re proud to have them both on board as investors :)

So, what does your organization’s spreadsheet fabric look like? Do you know of critical processes that rely on spreadsheets? Do you know how much you use spreadsheets? Do you have a spreadsheet open right now?

If you liked this post, go ahead and follow us for more spreadsheet goodness.

This article has also been published on Medium.

More blog posts

30. September 2021

Build a price quote calculator in 5 easy steps 

Embed interactive features like calculators on a website, and voilà! They become super-engaging conversion rate boosters 🚀

25. August 2021

Embedding 101: Entrepreneur Edition

As GRID grows and evolves, so do interesting new use cases and patterns of GRID-authorship. These patterns help us learn...

23. March 2021

GRID launches empowering spreadsheet-to-web software 

It’s launch time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Something special happens when a team this passionate unites behind a...

21. October 2017

3 things you don’t understand about spreadsheets (Part 1)

The world has a love/hate relationship with spreadsheets.

27. October 2017

3 things you don’t understand about spreadsheets (Part 2)

This is part 2 of 3 in a series of posts about the nature and history of spreadsheets.

28. August 2018

Excel vs. Google Sheets usage — nature and numbers

One of the most common questions I get is if Excel is still important, implying that “everybody” must be using...

16. October 2018

The 3 types of spreadsheets

We have been taking quite a deep dive into the world of spreadsheets lately. We have analyzed tens of thousands of...

03. November 2017

3 things you don’t understand about spreadsheets (part 3)

This is the third and final part of a series of blog posts on the origin and nature of sspreadsheets.

14. December 2018

The 20 Best Spreadsheet Quotes

In GRID’s deep dive into the world of spreadsheets, we’ve come across a lot of insightful, witty and sometimes somewhat distressing quotes....