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Escaping the Draw of the Familiar: Getting Out of Excel for Automation

by | Oct 17, 2023

New InRule customers often rely on Excel spreadsheets to manage their decision logic and processes. While this approach works up to a certain point, to truly transform digitally, user organizations must escape Excel and adopt a holistic approach to automation.

Below is a summary of some of the common pain points we hear from customers who are migrating from Excel spreadsheets to decision and process automation technologies. Consult the following application limitations when evaluating whether it’s time to try a more streamlined and integrated approach:

Excel is not great for complex logic – While authoring and updating basic processes or a single decision in Excel may be a relatively simple task for experienced users, spreadsheets are extremely limited in their logic functionality. Info cells only allow a limited workspace without complete reformatting. Therefore, creating and updating complex and nested logic, or even a collection of rules, is a challenge, if not impossible. And when there are issues with automation outcomes, troubleshooting is difficult.

Limited data functionality – Excel can accommodate data imports, but not large amounts. And while Excel does allow for testing multiple scenarios, those scenarios are usable by only the most experienced users. Excel’s spreadsheets are notoriously difficult to integrate across enterprise applications, and connections to external data sources are highly fragile. Users also cannot run true queries in Excel.

It doesn’t deliver in-depth metrics – Truly optimizing decisions and processes requires fully leveraging every bit of their available data feedback. Excel fails to extract metrics from current decisioning and process-automation logic, requiring users to employ external support to determine their effectiveness and make improvements.

Lacks explainability – When logic outcomes go awry, Excel gives little support in figuring out why, with no historical record of who made what change and when. Logic explainability is especially important to manage decisions updated by multiple team members as well as for organizations in heavily regulated industries, such as insurance and financial services.

Knowledge may walk out the door – Similar to the point above, Excel’s lack of explainability means the reasoning behind its decisions and processes resides strictly with its authors. Thus, when logic managers depart, vital information may go with them.

For over 20 years, InRule has empowered business analysts and subject matter experts to escape the limitations of Excel and siloed spreadsheets with accessible, comprehensive, no-code AI power. For more information on our leading decisioning platform, supported by process automation and machine learning, check out our platform overview page.




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