Spreadsheets vs Business Intelligence Software for Dealerships

7 minute read

Spreadsheets vs Business Intelligence Software for Dealerships

A pivotal aspect of a thriving car dealership lies in dealer analytics – the art of deciphering collected data to refine processes. Access to top-tier data is crucial for gaining valuable insights that steer dealerships in the right direction. Although many still rely on spreadsheets to handle data, transitioning to automotive business intelligence software proves to be a game-changer for dealerships seeking efficiency and growth.

Here, we'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using spreadsheets for data collection and analysis and the benefits of reliable automotive BI dealership software.

The pros of using spreadsheets

Over the years, many businesses across a wide range of industries have relied on spreadsheets for data collection. They provided an innovative alternative to manual processes as businesses began making the transition to paperless digital operations.

One of the main reasons spreadsheets have remained popular for many years is their ease of use. It's easy for almost anybody to learn how to effectively use them, and their accessibility makes them ideal for many teams. If businesses are looking for a quick and simple solution, spreadsheets are often the go-to option.
Another source of appeal is the cost-effectiveness of many platforms. For example, Google Sheets is entirely free to use and saves all spreadsheet data to the cloud, allowing for access anywhere and from any location across teams.
Although spreadsheets still have their appeal based on these and other advantages, they have fallen behind as new technologies have arisen that allow for improved automation and efficiency.

Once spreadsheets become a source of data analytics for car dealers and other businesses, the cracks start to emerge. With too much data on a single spreadsheet, the spreadsheet can become disorganised, and dealerships may suffer from slower performance. Meanwhile, having too many spreadsheets across multiple systems allows for inconsistent data as people need to manually update each spreadsheet. Without clear insights to fuel car dealership analytics, spreadsheets are likely to hinder rather than help your business.

The cons of using spreadsheets

Spreadsheets are still used in many operations to collect and manage data. But they come with certain disadvantages that make them less ideal than other more innovative solutions. In fact, one recent Quantrix report found that spreadsheets actually increase costs through a number of inconveniences and inefficiencies that come with these solutions.

Find out how much your 'free' spreadsheets are actually costing you.

If you're wondering what can hold your business back when relying on spreadsheets, the following are some of the cons of this outdated technology.

Prone to user and data entry error

When different departments work with their own spreadsheets and data sets, there's more room for user or data entry errors that can cause discrepancies in your operations. If you're working with inaccurate data, this will negatively impact analytics as you attempt to plan ahead and optimise operations.

Instead, it helps to centralise data using a single source of truth that everyone can access within various departments. This will help maintain data integrity while ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Inadequate security

Automotive dealerships must have sufficient security and maintain compliance with internal and industry standards. Unfortunately, spreadsheets are often stored locally on computer systems. This allows for security risks and vulnerabilities that could compromise your operations. With the integration of business intelligence in the automotive industry, your business will benefit from more security through cloud solutions that maximise data protection. In turn, you'll never need to worry about hackers or system shutdowns putting your data at risk.

Lack of version control

Working with too many spreadsheets allows for too many inconsistencies across each version. For example, your sales department might be working with the most up-to-date version of data. However, your finance teams have access to outdated data sets that prevent them from aligning with the rest of the organisation. Dependable automotive BI software will give you more control over data iterations. Then you can ensure everyone is working with the right version.

Why business intelligence is superior to spreadsheets for dealership software
Business intelligence (BI) entails collecting, analysing, and visualising data through the use of specially designed dealership software and tools. Compared to spreadsheets, business intelligence software offers far more efficiency, accuracy, and overall reliability. Using the right solution, you'll be able to get all of the data you need while ensuring continuity across departments and minimising the risk of error and inefficiency.

To give you a better idea of what you can achieve with automotive business intelligence software, the following are some key benefits of using the ideal solution.

Increased data capacity

Business intelligence tools can handle high volumes of data without affecting performance. They centralise all data from every department on a single accessible platform, making these solutions far different from traditional spreadsheets, which are likely to slow you down when working with a large quantity of data.

Automation of tasks

Automation is critical to your operations. That is why you should use business intelligence software that helps simplify workflows and allows for clear communication between teams. The right tool will facilitate true automation that enables your business to grow. This is something you won't achieve with spreadsheets alone.


Data visualisation is important in understanding the data collected. It's not enough to analyse it and interpret it. Good visualisation can provide more in-depth insights as owners, and various teams look at data in a truly presentable format. With detailed visuals, you can better determine what data means. Then you can make more informed decisions that optimise operational performance.

Drive success with the right automotive BI solution

If you're still using spreadsheets to collect and analyse business data, you'll benefit from making the transition to intelligent dealership software. With a tool like SalesLogs behind your dealership, you'll be able to minimise inefficiencies and the risk of error. Additionally, you'll be able to have more control over your data and keep it secure. By integrating the right solution for your business, you'll be able to excel in your industry and remain competitive.

Book a free demo of our dealership software today for more information about how SalesLogs's automotive BI software can improve operations and fuel your success.

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