According to Paul Baier of Groom Energy:
CFOs, CIOs and sustainability teams at large companies have used spreadsheets for years to track corporate carbon emissions.
We are now, however, at a tipping point where the benefits of carbon management software, also known as enterprise carbon accounting (ECA) software, outweigh the benefits of spreadsheets.
Assuming that CMS systems can be chosen and implemented effectively – no easy task.
Paul goes on to repeat the strengths and pitfalls of spreadsheets:
Spreadsheets allow a single user to enter, manipulate, analyze and visually represent numerical data with great flexibility. It can also be easily distributed via e-mail or a network-accessible location. Without a content management system to coordinate and track changes from multiple sources, however, spreadsheets quickly becomes unwieldy and error-prone.
Problems are compounded when a spreadsheet becomes so complex that only the original author can make required fixes and improvements. This leads to the “spreadsheet guru” — the irreplaceable employee who is the only person in the company who understands the 15MB spreadsheet.
Agree…though it would be interesting to know more about adaptations and routines used by companies to minimize these human and data “spreadsheet risks” (a subject I’m currently researching).
Beyond these risks, there is the basic issue of efficiency:
This summer, too many hours were spent on managing spreadsheets for CSR and CDP reports for this important, and now mainstream, business process. Better solutions now exist.