The Excel Exodus

By on Nov 20, 2018 in Technology

When it comes to Excel, there are two kinds of users: those who love it, and those who love to hate it. Regardless of which camp you’re in, there’s no denying the ubiquitous tracking tool has earned its role as a mainstay in offices in every industry across Senior man working on laptop in loungehe world. But as the complexities of business have grown, so has the need for flexible tracking tools—a fact that’s increasingly obvious in senior living. With many different levels of care, various floor plans, myriad amenities and portfolios of communities, new time-saving tools can have a huge impact. In this post, we’ll examine common budgeting and tracking challenges faced by senior living operators and a solution that makes all the difference.

The challenges:

Antiquated systems are inefficient

Since most companies purchase office software packages, it seems most cost efficient to use the spreadsheet that’s included to record and analyze the organization’s budgets. And while that strategy is an effective way to save money on paper, creating a scalable document to track all business operations from a blank tab in Excel is incredibly painstaking and time consuming—and once it’s been created, maintaining the document is no easy feat. If you recall the concept of opportunity costs from freshman economics, you’ll begin to understand that there is no efficiency in sapping countless man hours to make a tool not created for your business actually work for your business.

Versions get outdated quickly—and aren’t easily shared

Have you ever wasted time updating a spreadsheet only to find that you weren’t looking at the latest version? One of the most common frustrations with using static spreadsheets, rather than live solutions which are updated in real time, is the data becomes stale quickly, especially when multiple teams are making edits. On top of that, it’s difficult to share spreadsheets due to file size restraints, especially if the spreadsheet contains mass amounts of historical data. And there’s always the possibility of recipients editing or deleting data in a live file.

Spreadsheets aren’t made for data visualization

In the age of big data, collecting and analyzing information is more important than ever. But Excel’s rudimentary tools weren’t designed to visualize and communicate trends, making it easy to misinterpret data. Sure, there are a handful of easy-to-use pie charts and bar graphs to choose from, but ask yourself: are those the most accurate way to analyze the data, or are they being used simply because they’re readily available?

Data Security

One good thing about Excel is that it’s so prevalent, almost anyone who needs to can open an Excel file. One bad thing about Excel is that it’s so prevalent, almost anyone who wants to can open an Excel file. Get the drift? Excel’s pervasiveness and accessibility creates serious vulnerabilities when it comes to the safety of your files. While the software does provide some password-based protection, the level of security is relatively low and can be breached with minimal internet sleuthing.

The solution:

New easy-to-use tools made just for senior living have hit the market and are widely available to the masses. While many of the solutions available offer a la carte programs to fit the specific needs of your business, many, like the Yardi Senior Living Suite, also offer end-to-end enterprise management to consolidate everything from operations and finance to marketing and resident care. Unlike Excel, these software platforms are highly customizable and incredibly secure. Many allow multiple users to input data at the same time and offer parameters to restrict access by job function. They’re also made for data visualization, storing and analyzing historical data, allowing you to create reports and spot trends over time. While senior-living specific tools add an extra line item to the budget, the efficiencies and comprehensive oversight they provide not only enhance staff productivity—they can help lower your total cost of ownership.

Learn more about Yardi’s suite of products specifically designed for senior living.