Since the world of cloud computing has started to gain momentum in the business world, it has started to attract the attention of academics. As Google is viewed as one of the leading innovators in the field, it’s possibly not surprising that their products, such as Google Apps for Work, have become a basis for research themselves. The benefits of the cloud are well-known (cost-saving, flexibility, cross-platform access) but there can sometimes be a suggestion that some tools are inferior to ‘on-premises’ solutions. While this is possible understandable in some cases the quality of the cloud-based systems is constantly moving forward. There is also the fact that a large majority of users use a small minority of the functions of any given piece of software and indeed, many users prefer the online versions. Perhaps with this in mind, a study carried out by the University of Sussex in 2014 compared the behaviour and performance of Google Sheets vs Microsoft Excel – essentially a comparison of cloud software against offline software. There is a wide range of benefits when using cloud-based documents such as increased security and collaboration. However, this research focuses specifically on the user-friendliness of the two solutions by studying the following:
- text entry
- data entry
- formula implementation
- speed of task completion
The research found that participants completed a range of different tasks significantly quicker using Sheets than Excel. This would suggest that people find Sheets more intuitive to learn and a more user-friendly product. These results are particularly surprising as one of the most common concerns when switching from Excel to Sheets is that people are familiar with Excel and that they will struggle to learn the new program. However, this research is strong evidence to dispel this objection to making the switch by proving that Sheets are at least as easy to use as Excel if not easier.
You can view the full study here. If you would like to learn more about Google Sheets, you can find a video on our web page explaining the capabilities of the software. If you are already using Sheets, check out our blog post on the best Docs and Sheets add-ons.
If you’d like to learn more about how Google Apps and Cobry’s services could benefit your business, please get in touch.