Beef with Julio Torres: FileMaker > Google Sheets

by Andrea de Fraga - Business Analyst

We’ve got BEEF Julio Torres, FileMaker is so much better than Google Sheets.

I just happened to see a clip for Julio Torres’ new movie Problemista on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In it, Tilda Swinton (amazing) plays a character who is incensed you would even compare FileMaker and Google Sheets. Then, the voice of G-d (voiced by the equally amazing Isabella Rossellini – seriously I cannot wait to see this movie!) says, “FileMaker Pro is just like Google Sheets but harder to use and not free.”

But FileMaker is better, so much better!

If you have ever been tasked with the hero’s journey of finding, extracting, and reformatting marketing department information from a myriad of asynchronously-structured Google Sheets, you may remember how inefficient and Sisyphean it was to work with so many individual spreadsheets. There is no enforceable structure, format, or data integrity; often, there isn’t even a way to understand which version of a spreadsheet is current, since every filename usually included the suffix “FINAL.” You also may not have realized that FileMaker was the solution you needed.

I understand that Google Sheets is “free”, but so is antenna TV and who wastes their time with that?

The thing that FileMaker does really well is allow you to create a user-friendly interface for people to enter information (with, dare I say, the easiest design tool ever). Because getting information with consistency and accuracy is half the battle. And if people are still unwilling to part with their colony of spreadsheets, FileMaker Pro won’t force a choice. Instead, it will accept the spreadsheets just the way Google made them, allowing swift and uncomplicated imports (and exports) – so that everyone can have their cake, and eat it too.

Once you have all the data, you can put all kinds of security around it… fences, moats and fire breathing dragons if you will. Nobody can corrupt the data. I mean, how many times have you labored over a complex Google Sheet, spent days reconfiguring information from multiple files, only to have the VP of something delete a column or type over that Pi-length formula you finally got working! It messes up the whole thing and you’re back to square one!

When you no longer have to worry about preserving the integrity of your data, you can get the answers you need from it.

In FileMaker, you can leverage the power of relational databases without having to understand how they work. You don’t have to learn what an array is or even what SQL stands for (a note on relational databases, it sounds boring, but they’re really quite sexy and the backbone of almost every system used to make money). FileMaker equips you with a friendly graph that lets you connect your tables (think groups of rows) visually, so you don’t have to learn a bunch of code, but can still get as fancy as you need to be with your data!

Once organized, the data will give you answers about your company quickly and easily. Present the information in reports that are easy to read and not just a list of information. They’ll be accurate and impressive and become the standard for providing answers to your stakeholders. People will finally realize that you’re a genius when you can get at the information faster than anyone else!

So, interns and Problemistas trying to make your mark on the world: download a free trial of FileMaker Pro and get all those Google Sheets tamed and into a fast, immensely useful database. It will answer the questions your boss is trying to get out of those Google Sheets. You’ll do it faster and more accurately. It’ll be a no-brainer to pay for the “not free tool” once they figure out how much faster (and less labor-intensive) it is to use FileMaker Pro.

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