Which spreadsheet solution will prevail, Excel or Sheets?

Virtually every sophisticated business takes the advantage of spreadsheets. Regardless of their purpose, whether for calculating or organizing company data, they can be helpful for business owners, especially in terms of remaining productive, optimizing working process, and keeping on track.

With the development of business technologies, Microsoft Excel had its leading position among business owners. It was regarded as the most reliable option used for the spreadsheet needs. However, Cloud-based era of software solutions offered Google Sheets as a decent rival to the long-standing Microsoft favorite.

Common Capabilities

Even though these two apps are not entirely the same, they can be both used in a similar manner. Here is a guide to help you get a better understanding of Excel and Sheets. Let’s first take a look at the major similarities Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets possess. 
These software solutions can be both useful in terms of:

  • Performing digital calculations.
  • Storing and analyzing structed data.
  • Sorting and filtering information.
  • Making lists.
  • Generating keywords.
  • Creating strategic and critical SOPs (standard operating procedures).

At first sight, the apps seem to be very similar. Thus, many users question their choice when it comes to selecting which app to apply. Nevertheless, there is a disparity between these spreadsheet solutions that should be considered by business users.

Taking into account the main differences between each app will help business professionals to decide which spreadsheet solution is better to use. Read on to figure out the main particularities of Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets with regard to functionality, security, and value.

Functionality, Applicability and Main Characteristics 

As indicated, during a long period of time Microsoft Excel was actually the only possible option. As a dynamic spreadsheet solution, it used to be a preferred choice of many business owners. However, the latest version of Google Sheets has become more popular since it enables its users to apply the spreadsheet program in real-time. Even though this function is taken for granted now, before it was a real nightmare to collaborate on spreadsheets as a group.

When Google Sheets hit the market, many people found it more convenient due to its collaborative power. Sheets made it really easier and faster to work on spreadsheets as a team. In a short while, a Cloud version of Excel was released by Microsoft offering the same collaborative features, which could be even regarded as better ones than those offered by Google. So, it is worth exploring some other functions of both software solutions to figure out which app is functionally stronger. 

Google Sheets:
As it is well known, spreadsheet solution Google Sheets is collaborative, efficient and easy to use. At the same time, due to its simplicity in usage, it doesn’t have as many features as Microsoft Excel does (for instance, advanced scripting and formatting, dynamic graph creation, etc.) In addition, it cannot offer its users to upload to other clients or trace dependents. At the same time, Google Sheets is not totally basic, since it has some functional features that Microsoft Excel lacks.
Not only enables it to work on spreadsheets in real-time, but it also offers a built-in platform for instant chatting. Sheets’ users can discuss and make changes among project team members using this chat window in real-time. Besides, Google Sheets can boast of having built-in auto-fill formulas, which are applied to maximize productivity.

In relation to compatibility, this app is entirely integrated with such operating systems as Windows, Android, Mac OS X and iOS. It is also integrated with some other solutions offered by Google, for examples, Google Translate or Google Finance, making it easier for business owners to use a wide range of effective applications. There is no need to leave your spreadsheet in order to take the advantage of any Google tools.

Microsoft Excel:
Everyone knows that it is possible to do virtually anything with the help of Microsoft Excel. Not only can users make spreadsheets but also automate critical workflows and manage various projects. Moreover, creating any kind of charts including flow charts, Gantt charts, bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, and stock charts is a piece of cake with Excel.

The options of customization are also countless. Excel allows its users to change the titles of the x and y-axis, maximize tools for color-coding, format the data cells, etc. It also offers room for creativity due to its outright attention to detail.

However, Excel is usually time-consuming and overwhelming for users because of being so rich in features. All these dynamic tools require a lot of time and effort to be mastered. Registering for workshops or reaching out to professionals is not a rare practice among those who want to acquire Excel. Even if the learning process might seem challenging or daunting, in the long term, it’s definitely worth it.

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Storage, Significance and Pricing

Concerning this point, price options play a decisive role in the process of choosing software solution to make investments in. Business owners have to balance the value of the software platform with their budget when it comes down to it.

In the past, businesses were forced to purchase the entire Microsoft Office Suite in order to use the spreadsheet solution. Nowadays, it only costs them around $100 to buy a standalone version.

The even better news is that the more basic and Cloud-based version of Excel Online is free, basically in the same way as Google Sheets. The only disadvantage of both apps, Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets, is storage limits. However, there are various subscription tiers available. So, it is worth comparing the pricing to get the best bargain.

Google Sheets:
Regarding the usage and payment of Google Sheets, it is necessary to determine the needed space. Depending on how much storage is required for a business, administrators are offered a range of different usage prices to choose from. Bear in mind, 15 GB of storage are provided for free.

To supplement these subscription prices, Google users are also offered to purchase a business plan, which costs only $10 per month for unlimited storage. It also includes access to other Google Suit apps. However, subscribers must prove their relation to business by having a verified business domain name.

Despite the space purchased, when it comes to storage, Cloud-based apps can’t effectively process as much data as native solutions. The process of working on big spreadsheet projects can be slowed down by Cloud versions.

Microsoft Excel:
The latest price for purchasing the standalone Microsoft Excel app is $109.99. Being a native app, there aren’t any storage limitations. As a result, there isn’t likelihood of lagging or crashing in comparison to Cloud solutions. The main advantage of Excel is that it is custom-made to manage heavy data loads. Additionally, it is jam-packed with sophisticated and dynamic features. 

However, users who don’t search for functionality and characteristics of the desktop version can take the advantage of Excel Online. Since only 5 GB of total storage are offered for free, it is worth subscribing to OneDrive to have more storage space. 

When it comes to business plans, Microsoft provides very reasonable pricing. By subscribing to Enterprise plan, users are given the entire Office 365 suite. Additionally, they get access to other features, e.g. Email integration tools. Besides, all the packages can be customized on the basis of your unique business requirements.

Security and Control

In the modern business environment data security is crucial for companies. Actually, in the majority of industries, keeping client data private is legally obligated. Breaching security might damage the reputation of the company making it impossible to carry on a business. It goes without saying that when referring to software solutions, business owners shouldn’t take security for granted. 

During its lifecycle, Excel has faced some security challenges. Being the most popular software solution presented on the market, it is bound to encounter attacks of cybercriminals. Similarly, Google has also dealt with some serious security breaches that have resulted in reviewing the company’s security measures. So, let’s explore which software provider is doing its best in terms of heightening security.

Google Sheets:
Google Drive provides its users with a central platform that allows them to access all their stored documents. Additionally, it has been recently upgraded to HTTPS. By the virtue of HTTPS, all communication is encrypted that ensures the complete privacy of online Google Sheets documents.

Even though data is encrypted, it is possible to hack it, since it is stored in the Cloud. If a Google Drive account is hacked by a cybercriminal, the platform with all the stored data is in their hands. Thus, for protecting user data more carefully, a two-step verification has been released for Google Drive. In this way, an extra layer of authentication security is provided for storing vital data on the Cloud.

Microsoft Excel:
As previously mentioned, Excel workbook files are notorious for being easily hacked. Nevertheless, it has gained this reputation mostly because old versions of Excel were password protected. Since the algorithm was outdated, it was simple to crack it. Even though the last version of Excel is more secure, it isn’t 100 per cent hack-proof. Therefore, regardless of software solution business owners choose, it is worth using extra security measures for storing and sending spreadsheet data.

What concerns the Cloud version of Excel, its security characteristics are more reliable than one can imagine. It has always taken the advantage of the HTTPS server. Consequently, all data in transit is secured due to being encrypted. In addition, Microsoft offers a two-step verification as an additional layer of security. Finally, a business plan allows its users to deploy encryption per each file, so that even in the case of cyberattack one file is compromised, all the others survive intact. 

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that Microsoft has a lot of experience regarding keeping data safe. Due to its regularly evolving cyber climate, it adapts to threats very fast. Similar to any other platform, Microsoft has stumbled not once throughout its lifecycle, but its ability to bounce back made it only stronger in terms of security.

Calling a Winner

Considering all the above-mentioned points, it is obvious that an undisputed champion in this software showdown is Microsoft Excel. Undoubtedly, both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, but Google Sheets has a long way to go when it comes to versatility and power comparing to Microsoft Excel.

The on-server Excel app serves as a perfect dynamic spreadsheet solution that meets practically any demand of business owners. It is difficult to beat its capabilities to automate, customize and create. Since the infrastructure is built to deal with the huge amount of data, collecting, organizing, storing and analyzing without any lags or crashes of the system is easy for Microsoft. Google Sheets can’t even compete with Microsoft Excel because it doesn’t have a native application.

Even regarding collaborative power, Excel Online outweighs Cloud-based Google Sheets by having more dynamic security options followed by fewer storage limitations and better integration. It means that the winner of the Cloud battle is also Excel.

To conclude, before making a final decision regarding spreadsheet optimization, it is highly recommended to take into account all the aspects of the offered applications. Regardless of how you operate, either on a server or on the Cloud, the software solution should support your business needs.