What is Spreadsheet Software?
Spreadsheet software helps users organize their data and information in a table or spreadsheet format. These products also allow users to create charts and graphs based on the data contained in the spreadsheet, which they can then share and present with others. In addition to organizing data, spreadsheet tools can catalog, maintain, store, and analyze data in a fashion that's easy to understand and ideal for presentation. The spreadsheet rows, columns, and cells are typically easily adjustable to the preference of the end-user.
Though spreadsheet software was originally intended to be an updated solution for accounting methods, they are widely used today for several forms of work. A huge benefit of spreadsheet software over traditional paper spreadsheets is the ability to set up automated calculations. This saves an enormous amount of time and can provide much more accuracy.
This type of software is commonly used today in both schools and the workplace and because of this demand, many different high-quality tools have emerged that are worth exploring.
Spreadsheet Software Features:
Most spreadsheet software will offer a similar set of features that include:
Column and rows data input model
Sorting and filtering options
Ability to perform calculations
Formulas and functions
Data visualization (e.g. charts, graphs, pivot tables, etc.)
Chart and graph templates
Team collaboration and sharing
Data exports in multiple file formats
Spreadsheet Software Comparison:
Ease of Use: The more features that are available within a spreadsheet application, the more steep the learning curve will be for the end-user. This learning curve may result in more time spent trying to figure out how to use the program and less time spent on the business itself. Make sure overall ease of use is a top priority when you’re considering the range and depth of features you need in a spreadsheet application.
Single-user vs multi-user: Some spreadsheet software, such as LibreOffice, works best for a single user looking for a free software program and isn't ideal for collaborating with other users. Other applications, such as Zoho Sheets, are ideal for teams to use and have helpful real-time collaboration features. Make sure the software you consider investing in matches your business needs and, especially in regards to how many users will be involved.
Many of the well-known spreadsheet software applications are free to use and have more than enough features for the average business end-user. However, there are paid plans available for as little as $4 per user per month that increase to about $25 per user per month. Some spreadsheet applications offer yearly rates which may go from $69.99 to $150.00 a year.
While free spreadsheet software may be perfectly adequate for individuals or average business users, you should consider a paid tool if you need advanced features or will have a large number of users working within the tool.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Many spreadsheet software available today is free to use. These free applications come with a ton of great features that are sufficient for individuals or small teams looking to store and organize their data.
Applications with more advanced features can cost anywhere from $4-$25 per month. Yearly rates vary but may fall between $70 to $150 a year. These more expensive but more comprehensive applications are better suited for larger teams or businesses.