Turn Data into Smart Apps

March 28, 2016 | Raj Srivastav

Turn Data into Smart Apps
Turn Data into Smart Apps

Excel: the very name of this infamous program reduces the strong to tears, breaks the most iron of wills, and renders whole civilizations insane…Okay so obviously this is a little hyperbolic, but for those of us who have spent 8 hours in an Excel spreadsheet, it seems pretty spot on. Excel can be one of the most difficult programs to master and use, but it is also probably among the top 5 most useful programs for business to have ever been invented.

We live in a business world that is turned on data and data processing. While this has, to some extent, always been the case, it is truer today than at any other point in the past. The internet and its associated infrastructure allow CEOs and entrepreneurs to capture, process and analyze more data than anyone would have thought possible 30 years ago.

In keeping with the mountains of data being created, Developers and programmers have spent the past few decades creating analytical software and programs. These programs, such as Mixpanel, are designed to quickly process information for easy consumption. But the original data cruncher was Excel and its spreadsheets. Do you have content or data that needs to be converted into an app? Contact team@sdi.la to do it for you!

While Excel is still one of the best data analytics tools out there, we live in a world of mobile apps. In order to truly unlock the potential of spreadsheets and the information we can glean from data, we must go mobile. Admittedly, this is not a sexy or glamorous project, but it is one that will result in a truly useful product.

More importantly, a good development team can make a data app into something people will pay good money to use. In an economy where so much is offered for free, finding the right path to monetization is a difficult process. An app for spreadsheets and data analysis practically sells itself.

Some of you may be imagining trying to manipulate a spreadsheet on a Smartphone, but that isn’t the correct way to approach the project. This is the perfect app for iPads and other tablets; most modern tablets offer increased screen real estate and improved processing power (even over desktops). That isn’t to say that it won’t be useful on a Smartphone: the ability to display data pulled from a spreadsheet visually is a vital aspect of this project.

Imagine walking into a VC investor meeting with nothing but your phone. Investors can download your app onto their phone, perusing through the data, the spreadsheets and the various data display methods (graphs, tables, charts, etc). Impressive, right?

So if easy monetization, great selling power, and sustainable value aren’t enough to contact us, let’s take a look at some of the other reasons.

• Ease of Use

Turning data on a spreadsheet into an HTML5/Web-based App is actually pretty simple. Tools like Silk, AppSheets, and Ragic allow you to do it in a few minutes. Unfortunately, Silk does single data sets and turns them into a webform. What we’re talking about here is converting multiple spreadsheets into a workable app. Still, tools like Silk demonstrate how simple this is – and how little it will cost you upfront.

• Growth Tool

No one is denying how useful Excel is, but as a scaling support tool, it falls short. It doesn’t offer real-time analysis, it’s easy to make a mistake, and it’s even harder to keep track of everything – especially when multiple people are working on and saving a single spreadsheet.

An app can be coded to catch errors (don’t forget about JP Morgan’s Excel error that cost $6 billion!), provide easy search capabilities and can run complex analytic reports in real-time. As we mentioned earlier, we live in a world of data and a world of constant, instantaneous analyses. Real-time computations are essential to the success of your business.

• Security

If you’ve turned on the News or read a paper recently, you’ve heard about the digital security issues facing our country. With hacks from Target to Safeway to the US Government itself, security is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, Excel is not a secure program. While you can encrypt or protect a spreadsheet, anyone who can use Google can crack that password in a few minutes. A mobile app, especially when based on the cloud, is exceptionally safe and secure. Additionally, creating an app that requires User Permissions (something not available in Excel) is a simple, but an excellent way to ensure your data remains protected from hackers.

In summation, a spreadsheet app is easy to use, less prone to human error, more secure and is a scalable tool that will grow with your company. To steal from TV shopping – But wait, there’s more! This also represents a market opportunity we’ve discussed before: the ability to turn your competition into your users.

Developing an app to improve a company’s analytic abilities will not only help your business but can help other businesses. All entrepreneurs need to have excellent data processing tools if they want to succeed. So why not create one that helps you – and then gets your competitors in your back pocket!

Develop Your Own Data Cruncher Today

SDI is a mobile app, website, and custom software design company. We have worked on thousands of apps and can create the analytic app your company desperately needs. Take a look at our portfolio to see some of our other work and then give our team a call at 408.805.0495. Prefer to email? No problem! Our email address is team@sdi.la. We look forward to working with you soon!

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