6 reasons to use low-code dashboards instead of spreadsheet reports
- Last Updated: April 30, 2023
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- 3 Min Read
Data analysis plays a vital role in business reporting today. With the arrival of big data, data analysis and data mining are domains worth following. Extracting meaningful information from billions of files is now a walk in the park, thanks to these technological advancements.
While computer-savvy users can leverage the data scientist's toolset to extract information from random data, what about the vast majority who use other tools—such as spreadsheets—to deal with data?
True, spreadsheets have been around for decades now. And yes, they are easy to use initially. But are they relevant today, for powerful reporting and seamless number crunching?
The answer is, unfortunately, "no".
Though spreadsheets have their uses, and though they can generate reports within the sheets themselves, when compared with contemporary tech, such as low-code platforms, they pale in comparison.
Let's see why.
6 reasons why you should use low-code dashboards instead of spreadsheet reports
1. Enhanced data visualization
Spreadsheets provide charts, graphs, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and filters & sorting. However, you can't create comprehensive dashboards via drag-and-drop builders.
Low-code platforms offer a wider variety of data visualization and reporting features. For example, low-code platforms like Zoho Creator offer charts, such as bar, line, area, pie, and doughnut charts, as well as gauges. The platform also offers pivot tables like spreadsheets and map reports, too. And all of these are easier to generate, as they can be built through a point-and-click interface instead of the complicated formulas needed in spreadsheets.
Low-code platforms even allow you to create custom widgets—interactive dashboard components—using scripting languages like HTML. The custom coding made possible with low-code platforms allows you to implement unique. custom business logic in your applications.
Spreadsheets are shared via a link, which can be sent through an email. They can be password protected, however if the password is insecure or if it leaks, anyone with it can access the data.
You can share dashboards with your colleagues easily, and enforce granular access control, including role-based access control. You can also grant read or write permissions based on roles. Collaboration on low-code platforms ensures increased productivity and security, due to strict security protocols.
Spreadsheets have limited customization options. Hence, it can be challenging to create custom reports or detailed dashboards.
Low-code platforms have a vast array of customization options. You can easily create detailed dashboards using point-and-click tools. You can also set up custom dashboards and reports by simply dragging and dropping the desired elements.
4. Real-time data synchronization
Data can't be updated 100% automatically—some portions of the process will always be manual.
Data can be pulled from various live resources, such as databases. This data integration is in real time, and the reports automatically update their data by themselves, to present the user with an up-to-date version of the data being managed.
Spreadsheets provide automation features like macros. However, the learning curve for macros is steep.
Low-code platforms, provide point-and-click and drag-and-drop interfaces to automate business processes. Without scripting or formulas, you can build powerful automation solutions for your business processes. But for users who can do the heavy lifting, low-code platforms also offer scripting options to implement complicated custom logic.
For example, Zoho Creator offers Deluge, a fifth-generation scripting language. Deluge can automate complex tasks with only a few lines of code, speeding up the process of digital transformation.
6. User interface
The UI is generic—just rows and columns of data with embedded reports and charts.
A vibrant user interface allows for sleek dashboards with attractive visual elements like gauges, interactive charts, and complex visualizations.
Low-code platforms have impactful features and advantages that give them the edge over spreadsheets, including auto-scalability, mobile accessibility, and ease-of-use. And that's not to mention that low-code dashboards are a welcome replacement to the plain interface of spreadsheets.
So what are you waiting for?
Transition now, and reap the many benefits that low-code platforms have to offer. Experience rapid digital transformation in a fraction of the time and leave clunky, error-prone spreadsheets behind.
- Prasanna Venkatesh
Prasanna Venkatesh is a Marketing Analyst at Zoho, for the low-code platform Creator. His work experience spans Marketing, Software Engineering, QA, and Customer Support.
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