Best Online Spreadsheet

Contributor, Benzinga

The spreadsheet has been the most popular application for organizing and storing data in a tabular format. While Microsoft’s Excel is still a popular spreadsheet application, new applications have emerged with enhanced features like real-time collaboration, dynamic calculations, automation, visualization, built-in templates, forecasting trends and user-friendliness.

With numerous choices at your disposal, the choice of an online spreadsheet should not be limited to its price but rather should consider overall functionality. Explore the elements you should evaluate when you’re looking for the best online spreadsheet available on the market.

What Are the Advantages of Using an Online Spreadsheet?

Here are some prominent benefits to using an online spreadsheet, extending beyond tracking and storing data.

Real-time collaboration

An online spreadsheet allows multiple users working remotely to collaborate on a single spreadsheet at the same time for content management. You can easily oversee the changes made to it and track the changes for future reference. Because an online spreadsheet maintains a changelog, you can also effortlessly revert the changes to older versions.

Dynamic calculations with built-in formulas

Online spreadsheets are real game-changers in terms of streamlining calculations. These spreadsheets perform personalized and dynamic calculations, ranging from simple calculations to complex formulas. 

You can also pull data from other applications and use built-in formulas and functions to manipulate and analyze data further.

Visualization and interactive charts

Online spreadsheets are equipped with pre-built templates, graphs, charts and timelines. These visualization tools can be instrumental in facilitating a bigger picture for further analysis because visual aids and graphics provide a better way to present your easily understood data. 

What to Look for in the Best Online Spreadsheet?

To keep your search in check, make sure you consider the following checklist.

Formulas

Formulas simplify calculations. It can be inefficient to perform repetitive calculations in each cell. Using formulas you can evaluate the values dynamically. Make sure your spreadsheet supports formulas and lets you adjust the values of your data dynamically. 

Data manipulation

A spreadsheet’s features largely revolve around simplifying, automating, and organizing data in ways that are easy to analyze and manipulate. When dealing with complex data, your spreadsheet’s data manipulation tools should let you convert data into the desired format to enhance the visual experience, generate insights and carry out trend analysis.

Publishing

Publishing a spreadsheet online makes it easy for you to showcase it to a vast audience. Many online spreadsheets give you the authority to decide who you want to share your spreadsheet with. You’ll want to make sure your spreadsheet provides you with an option to share data within your organization or external stakeholders and lets people with proper access modify the spreadsheet easily.

Functions

Online spreadsheets are equipped with hundreds of predefined functions. These functions allow you to perform anything from basic arithmetic to complex calculations and reduce the time to perform manual calculations. Choose a spreadsheet that lets you manipulate, sort, extract and filter data easily. 

The Best Online Spreadsheet

You can find numerous online spreadsheets in the market which makes it challenging to choose a spreadsheet. To ease your search, here are the five best online spreadsheets currently leading the market:

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a free online spreadsheet by Google. You can access, create and edit your spreadsheets using its cloud-based application. You can use it from any platform and offline as well.

Pros: Google Sheets works with your Google account. It offers real-time collaboration, a wide variety of templates, built-in formulas, pivot tables, colorful graphs and version history to make your collaborative experience remarkably smooth.

Cons: It lacks advanced features, such as what-if scenarios, chart types and advanced formulas.

Best For: Immediate sync with G Suite apps like Google Analytics, Google Forms and offline support

Pricing: Google Sheets is available for free to anyone with a Google account. The free version offers up to 15 GB of storage. Its paid plans start as low as $6 per user for Business Starter.

Zoho Sheet

Zoho Sheet stands out from other online spreadsheets with its smooth and intuitive real-time collaboration. Being a cloud-based spreadsheet, it not only allows you to work from anywhere but also offers more than 350 different functions, better integrations and intelligent tools.

Pros: Zoho Sheet offers various visualization tools like chart-aggregation, sparkling, icon sets and race charts to bring data to life. It automatically converts scanned images to Zoho Sheet using its mobile application. Zoho also gives utmost importance to your data and privacy.

Cons: Zoho Sheet lacks an offline support feature, which can be a negative compared to tools like Google Sheets. It also has a significant learning curve.

Best For: Free online spreadsheet with the ability to import and export data from different formats.

Pricing: Zoho offers a limited free version for teams of up to 25 users. You can even opt for premium packages according to your users and storage needs.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet provides you a centralized and cloud-based spreadsheet. It offers a powerful application to automate your project management workflow.

Pros: You can get started with Smartsheet within minutes. It offers you a wide variety of timelines, Gantt charts and visualization charts. It also lets you monitor the status of specific tasks with a Kanban view. You can use Smartsheet from any browser, device or operating system. Plus, it seamlessly integrates with Google Suite, Slack, Dropbox and OneDrive.

Cons: Smartsheet can be overwhelming due to its comprehensive features, and it doesn’t offer a free version.

Best For: Automating project management workflow and flexibility to adapt to constant changes

Pricing: Pricing for Smartsheet starts at $14 per month for Individual plans and $25 per user per month for Business plans. It also offers customized pricing for Enterprise plans. Smartsheet also has a 30-day free trial.

Apple Numbers

Numbers is a preinstalled spreadsheet application for Apple devices. It lets you create impressive graphic-rich spreadsheets, interactive graphs and charts for business or personal use.

Pros: Numbers starts you off with a blank canvas that allows you to move everything around. It is equipped with ready-to-use templates, built-in formulas and styles to customize your spreadsheet. It also supports real-time collaboration, letting your team contribute to the same spreadsheet. In addition, it supports offline collaboration and automatically uploads changes when you are back online.

Cons: It lacks data analysis functionality and the ability to manage more extensive data sets. Plus, it is only compatible with Apple devices.

Best For: People who use Apple devices

Pricing: Apple Numbers is available free to anyone with an Apple account.   

Airtable

Airtable is a combination of the best aspects of spreadsheets and databases. It has visually appealing features that are easy to use and powerful enough to act as a database. You can use Airtable for project planning, inventory tracking and customer relationship management.

Pros: Airtable offers a solid template library, pivot tables and graphs, data summarizing tools, formulas and functionality to create relationships between tables. It helps you work smarter and improve your productivity with project management and collaboration features.

Cons: There is a steep learning curve with Airtable, and its free version includes limited functionalities.

Best For:  Powerful database-based spreadsheet that lets you handle multiple forms, images and barcodes.

Pricing: While a free plan is available, its paid plans start from $10 per month for Plus plans. Its Pro plans cost $20 per month, and Enterprise plans have custom prices.

Organize your Data With Online Spreadsheets

Workplaces are going digital and remote working has become a norm, making real-time collaboration and boundless cloud-based workplaces integral. Online spreadsheets can empower teams to get real-time visibility, automate workflow and keep connected.

The best online spreadsheet to suit your business should offer built-in functions, formulas, pricing, visualization, real-time collaboration and compatibility. Get started with a free version now to find the spreadsheet that matches your needs.