Coaches, sports scientists, and practitioners often rely on spreadsheets to capture, manage, and run rudimentary reports on athlete and Service Member data. But while they might be easy to use and familiar to many, this format does not provide a reliable, secure, efficient, or scalable solution for managing large and complex human performance data sets. You know it’s time to evolve from spreadsheets to a true human performance solution when…

The number of spreadsheets you’re managing has reached double digits

Spreadsheets are not a scalable solution. They are fine for gathering rudimentary information such as sets and reps in the weight room, but as soon as data capture needs to progress beyond this, it becomes too time-consuming to continue manually entering it.

The more sheets there are and the greater the amount of information that’s contained in each, the harder it becomes to pinpoint precise details quickly and make them usable.

The person that developed all your spreadsheets leaves

Spreadsheets expose organizations to a high degree of risk when the person who built the solution leaves. If they take the data with them, there’s a risk of the information being lost and private data being compromised, creating legal liability issues.

Even if the data is retained and stays secure, their former colleagues can be stuck not knowing how to maintain the sheets it’s stored in, meaning they have to either transfer the information into a new system or waste time figuring out how to manage the old one.

A function corrupts the sheet/your hard drive crashes, and you have to start again

Spreadsheets are not an enterprise-grade solution with proper data security and backups. You expose yourself to more risk of losing valuable data when working in spreadsheets, as locally managing files means they can be partially or fully lost if a sheet becomes corrupted or there’s a hardware failure. When under pressure to provide timely insights to performance staff, coaches, and leadership, dealing with hardware or software failures is the last thing you want to deal with.

What’s more, the lack of a reliable backup can put you in violation of data privacy laws, opening you up to more liability.

It takes too long for your athletes to line up and enter their results into one laptop

The more athletes or Service Members a performance team manages and the greater the amount of information they need to enter for each encounter (such as before and after practice and during strength training sessions), the less efficient utilizing spreadsheets becomes. This challenge is compounded when coaches and other staff members also have to input supplementary information.

Someone asked you about HIPAA compliance

In many situations, spreadsheets are not HIPAA compliant and could create policy violations regarding how athlete data is stored, managed, and access controlled. Military units have even more stringent security protocols that storing Service Member data in sheets likely fails to satisfy, and college teams and athletic departments could be at risk of NCAA sanctions if student-athlete information is not adequately protected and access controlled.

Each department is managing its own spreadsheets that can’t easily be shared

When data is stuck in disparate spreadsheets that are only accessible by a single department or specialty, its usefulness is limited. Such a siloed approach makes it more likely that the organization is pursuing a reductive approach that limits collaboration and keeps human performance domains like nutrition, strength and conditioning, and sports science largely separated.

This reduces communication and collaboration and results in a lower level of service to athletes, Service Members, and other internal clients.

The laptop with all the spreadsheets was left on the team bus

When relying on spreadsheets, it’s very difficult to keep data secure. Individual users’ passwords offer a very flimsy method of protection that is easily circumvented, meaning that any device is vulnerable.

Relying on sheets that can be readily accessed if a laptop or tablet is lost or stolen puts your organization at much greater risk of security breaches, data loss, and compliance violations.

When you’re ready to evolve

If your organization has run into one or more of the challenges above, it might be time to consider swapping out your spreadsheets for a scalable, unified HPO solution like Smartabase. Doing so makes it easier to collect, manage, and visualize performance, health, and medical data, enhances collaboration between departments, increases security, and – perhaps most importantly – enables you to make more data-informed decisions that improve outcomes for athletes and Service Members.  Specifically, the Smartabase human performance optimization platform:

  • Delivers a scalable solution to support large and complex data sets across multiple disciplines.
  • Facilitates a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to human performance and health that takes the whole person into consideration.
  • Provides a mobile solution to make the data-capture process easy and efficient.
  • Supports user-level and role-based privileges and strong encryption functions to control data access.
  • Includes a robust backup system to ensure full data redundancy.
  • Offers military-grade security and has received clearance to operate at Impact Level 5 (IL5), is HIPAA compliant, and is ISO and SOC 2 Certified.

Ready to explore how Smartabase can help your organization move on from spreadsheets? Request a demo today.

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