Microsoft launched Excel in 1985 as a spreadsheet system to organize data in columns and rows to perform mathematical functions on the data. Excel is one of the most widely used business applications where the spreadsheet — a simple, flexible, and incredibly powerful tool — quickly became the lingua franca of business. Spreadsheets are now loved and loathed in equal measure. Their flexibility is useful, but also dangerous. The commonly held wisdom, backed by research, is that nine out of 10 spreadsheets contain errors, a sobering thought considering how far and wide the files are used in business and beyond.
Spreadsheets have been at the center of misguided commission calculation and payouts among many other hornets' nests because organizations of all scales, over all these years, have been forcing Excel to calculate commissions with thousands and hundreds of columns and rows for their massive workforces. Here’s our detailed analysis of why a generally wonderful business tool, Excel, doesn't make a cut for calculating sales incentives.