Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 58 seconds

“We make excel reporting fun!” Biznet’s website boasts. That’s a tall order considering a person only has to type the words, “hate excel” in any web browser to get a long list of articles and rants on why Excel is literally the worst. There’s even a book by Kelly Conaster and Patrick J. Burns entitled, I Hate Excel. So the real question is, does Biznet live up to their claim?

In Use:

Biznet software aims to help nonprofits save time on their monthly reporting. According to Sr. Global Alliance Manager Randy Smith, utilizing Biznet in lieu of Excel can save organizations 80% of time they would normally spend on these reports.

Biznet offers their customers three different products. Their main software, BizInsight helps nonprofits build reports more efficiently overall enhancing the experience. Once a report is built, a user can save the template and come back to it. If data changes, the whole report refreshes saving the user a significant amount of time. Their other two tools revolve around connecting data and sharing data. BizConnector allows users to get data from a dataset and filter it depending on what information is needed. With BizBroadcast, users can send the same report to multiple users in varying degrees. For instance a user can send one person a single sheet of data while sending others highly sensitive information from the same document that is also password protected. This saves the user time from having to send multiple versions.

While Biznet technologies are not solely for nonprofit organizations, Smith believes they offer a competitive price that organizations around the country can afford. The platform will cost users a minimum of $780 a year per user or $65 a month.

Technology Used:

Charities who wish to use Biznet software must download Excel. If an organization has Excel on-line, Biznet won’t work. This usually isn’t a problem as many organizations invest in Microsoft Office for day-to-day activities.

Biznet products directly integrate with over 35 different platforms such as Blackbaud, Epicore, and Microsoft Dynamics to make a seamless integration.

Ease of Use:

If a nonprofit has worked within Excel before, Biznet’s software is relatively easy to use. Smith stated that there was a minimal learning curve for those users who already have knowledge of Excel. For those who need a bit more help Biznet offers support, training and a video library that users can access.

Recap:

Biznet has found a way to not only make Excel fun but to save users time. Their tools enable nonprofits to analyze their data efficiently; connect datasets from outside of Excel; and distribute reports with ease.

Advantages:

* Saves users a significantly amount of time on monthly reports

* Excel users will find this software easy to use

* Multiple integrations including Blackbaud

Disadvantages

* While larger nonprofits may be able to afford $780 a year per user, small to medium organizations could not.

My Opinion:

Unlike the numerous users that loathe Excel, I actually really like it. I love to scrub my spreadsheet from unnecessary data. I love to filter data, sort it from A-Z…and don’t get me started on pivot tables. I could pivot for hours. One of the reasons I like Excel is because there’s a formula for everything. And if I don’t know a formula, a simple search can solve my problem.

I understand the lure of Biznet software, but I think $780 per user per year is pretty steep for many nonprofits. I would suggest investing in an Excel course and utilize one of the numerous Excel training videos on the internet.

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