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Excel and risk analysis: golden combination or doomed to fail?

As a food company, it is important to draw up risk analyses, for instance for raw materials, processes and Food Defense. Excel is seen as the most handy tool for drawing up a large and complex document, such as a risk analysis. But is Excel actually suitable?

A time-consuming process

Drawing up a risk analysis in Excel costs a great deal of time. In a risk analysis of raw materials, all the risks of incoming raw materials are maintained. This means that all possible risks must be described and kept up-to-date on the basis of changes in risks and the composition of raw materials. This is a time-consuming process.

The functioning of formulas

An advantage of Excel is the possibility of working with formulas, by means of which particular columns, lines and/or tabs are connected to each other. By means of this form of ‘automation’, work is taken over from the user. However, users must be aware of the complex functioning of formulas. When formulas are used or applied wrongly, the whole file can lose its function. This is a huge disadvantage.

Not orderly and error-prone

The risk analysis is a complex and extensive document. When drawing up the risk analysis in Excel, it is important to choose a correct construction and orderly lay-out. In practice, this is often difficult. The larger the document, the less orderly the whole. This cannot always be avoided. The complexity of the document means that errors are easily made. These errors are difficult to find in Excel.
Do you recognize the above-mentioned points? The chances that you do are high. The reason for this is, in comparison to Excel, there are more effective methods for drawing up a risk analysis, for instance via a digital system. How does this work? And what are the advantages of digitalization? Read more here.

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