Of course, the many clients in the construction space of budget4cast‘s project budget management app already know how much time savings they gain versus the bad ole days of managing budgets in spreadsheets. We have clients reporting a 60-70% reduction in effort over Excel, simply by switching their construction project budget to budget4cast! But, don’t just take their word for it. There is tons of data showing how managing project budgets in Excel is inefficient and frustrating. Plus, there are many horror stories of the impacts of simple data errors in Excel-based analyses.
Excel is time-consuming and frustrating
This great study, of over 400 participants in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, while all in Europe, is likely representative of the general concerns with using Excel for budget management. The survey data shows that almost 60% of all respondents have significant problems with using Excel, including a third that cite data quality issues, and almost half that it is way too time and resource intensive. Interestingly, almost a third report that by the time the budget is finally put together in the spreadsheet, it is outdated, and needs to be revised. And, the data indicates wide concerns with the native reporting capability in spreadsheet-based budgets.
Watch out for errors!
We’ve all had those experiences: You’ve put together a presentation on a construction project budget for a client or your boss, based upon a lot of work in spreadsheets, and then they point out an obvious error. These often turn out to be an extra zero in one figure in your Excel doc, or a botched formula, etc. Turns out, we are not alone! According to various studies summarized here, 88% of all Excel spreadsheets worldwide have data or formula errors! According to one expert, Ray Panko, a professor of IT management at University of Hawaii, “errors in spreadsheets are pandemic.”
These errors can cause a lot more than embarrassment. They can cause real business impacts. Not all will be as huge as the “London Whale” incident, in which JP Morgan lost $6.5 BILLION due to copy/paste and formula errors in Excel spreadsheets. Nonetheless, these problems can cause real headaches for you in managing your construction project budget.
Luckily, budget4cast removes the need to copy and paste the same data into multiple locations and documents. This coupled with many built-in data integrity protections, including those designed to avoid overspending, provides you as a project manager, much more confidence in your budget and in the reports you provide to your clients.