For ages, businesses have been using Excel in their different operations. The education industry is no exception.
In many education institutes, Excel is being heavily used for their admission process, primarily by:
- The counsellors for their day-to-day activities
- Managers in extracting data and analyzing it
- The top management to track work progress & to gain useful business insights
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Excel. Hands down, Excel is one of the best tools you can find today for performing calculations with limited data. So much so that, in 2016, Microsoft claimed that about 1.2 billion people use Microsoft Office and about 120 million of them use MS Excel.
No doubt, it is the most widely utilized office software on Earth.
But have you ever considered that:
- There could be more alternatives to Excel?
- There could be a better tool than Excel that suffices your same needs?
- It’s high time you thought beyond Excel?
There is one tool that will cater to all your admissions needs. It’s called an education CRM. But why should you switch from an Excel sheet to a CRM?
5 Reasons it’s time to switch from an Excel to an education CRM
Susceptible to Errors
According to a recent article on MarketWatch, 88% of spreadsheets contain errors. You must be wondering, “What can a little spreadsheet do?” Apparently, everything from financial loss to the firing of CEOs.
Excel sheets, although a great tool on their own, requires an element that thwarts their potential of being a good lead management tool. It requires manual intervention.
When your counsellors work on sheets, you have a high chance of errors in your data, even if it is not intentional. A simple mistake like misplacing a decimal point can have a detrimental impact on your admission process. The worst part is that you may never find out about them until it’s too late.
You can avoid all of these issues and maximize on your admission processes through an education CRM.
Difficult to analyze sheets
Excels are pretty straightforward…..but only when you are working on a small amount of data on one sheet. The problem starts when your counsellors have to juggle more than one sheet to get things done.
Links between two workbooks are common and useful. But multiple links where values in workbook1 depend on values in workbook2, which links to workbook3, and so on, are hard to manage.
Each of these processes has the potential to introduce errors to the excel worksheet and will end up costing your business lots of money. Instead, through an education CRM, you can look at your entire lead data on a single dashboard.
Challenging to gain detailed insights
Counsellors need to analyze their data to get actionable insights and make key admission decisions. Excel sheets can be quite cumbersome when it comes to this.
Gaining insights using pivot tables and charts is okay, but can be limited to a certain extent. Reviewing performances and creating analytical reports can become extremely tedious using Excel sheets alone.
With an education CRM, you get a 360-degree view of the performance of the entire admission process, with detailed insights readily available at just the click of a button.
One of the biggest disadvantages of using an Excel sheet is the lack of security. Security breaches of your sheets can come from anywhere! It could be a hard disk crash, or a computer virus, if you’re using Microsoft Excel and storing your data locally, any of such events could have a devastating effect on your business.
Another major concern is that multiple people can access and update the sheet at once, with a high potential of misuse of data by employees.
Also, spreadsheets aren’t designed to store historical data, so often, in an attempt to keep the size of them manageable, they are “updated” and institutes lose their historical data, which can cause long-lasting and terrible effects.
A good education CRM provides additional security that ensures the protection of your data from all kinds of data breaches. You control who has what kind of data access. Also, it stores all your data from the beginning of time till the time you decide to get rid of it.
Difficult to Find Information
Again, if you are working on a small amount of data, you may not face this issue when working on an excel sheet. But what about multiple sheets? Multiple workbooks? Think about the manual effort you will have to put in when searching for one lead’s information in large amounts of data.
Even with the help of formula and excel hacks up your sleeve, It will be like searching for a needle in a haystack. What’s more, not everyone in your team will know these hacks. This manual labour just increases your admission team’s inefficiency.
Alternatively, searching for any lead data becomes so much easier through an education CRM. All your lead data will be readily available on one single platform.
Still think an Excel Sheet is Better?
If you are a decision-maker in an educational institute & yet reluctant to switch from Excel to an education CRM, here are our counters to some of the most typical doubts many have.
“I have less data, so Excel would serve my work.”
Many institutes think that they don’t need to switch to an education CRM because they don’t work with a lot of data. But, do you guarantee that this will never change? What would happen a year or two from now when all that data has grown? Do you think Excel will continue to be able to serve your work? Food for thought.
“But, we’ve always used Excel!”
True, Excel is a great tool and has been able to help you manage your admission process well enough. But there is always going to be room for improvement. Just because it’s always been done one way, certainly does not mean it’s the best way. The advent of technology in everyday life has proven that.
“It is tough to use the new software”
Agreed. But that can be said about any new technology or tool that comes your way! Yes, it will take time to upskill your team, but the effort will be worth your trouble. Plus, good education CRM providers, give extensive training and handholding to help you transition to the new way of working.
Excel is a brilliant tool that many organizations and institutes still use to manage their data. But, there are many possible damages that arise from using Excel spreadsheets. The good news is that there are now great and inexpensive tools like an education CRM, out there that allow educational institutes to run their admission processes in more effective ways.