While it’s been more than 30 years since Excel changed the course of business computing, businesses continue to religiously rely on the spreadsheet app for everything from IT projects, finance and marketing needs and product management to planning company picnics.

Excel allows you to store extensive amounts of data, and transform them into reports with repeatable summaries, formulas, functions, if-then scenarios, auto filters, pivot tables and even rudimentary insights. It’s been an incomparable tool for individuals and departments, and since it’s standardized worldwide, you can share your data and reports with colleagues or clients around the world. Fairly easy to learn and use, it has a ubiquitous presence and its impact on business cannot be understated.

But it just might be reaching the end of its usefulness.

Consider this. The concerns of today’s business enterprise include significant issues that have surfaced fairly recently due to advancing technology and the global marketplace. The negative fallout of data entry errors and subsequent miscalculations and report findings — unavoidable due to the inherent imperfection of human data entry — can now be felt on the world stage, not just in the company or industry arenas. Whether it’s a missed negative sign, a misplaced decimal or an overlooked embedded confidential document, the problems created can be huge.

But other issues are emerging as well.

While today’s managers and execs seek actionable insights that reflect the multitude of data collected within their organization, the data in their spreadsheet-based systems are unfortunately distributed throughout the organization. Summarizing and consolidating the data becomes an unwieldy option, requiring end users to collect data from diverse files and submit them to department heads, who may subsequently have to repeat the process for their own higher-ups. The tedious process is easily error-prone and the results are questionable at best.

For companies who rely on data in multiple spreadsheets across the entire enterprise, the data needed to provide high-level managers with the insights they need to make prudent decisions is also inevitably flawed. After all, each spreadsheet is created uniquely by an individual with a specific set of objectives and perspectives. The result is different data formats, field names and duplication from one file to the next that ultimately degrade the reliability of reports and outcomes. And Excel has no cost-effective way to resolve the differences across data sets.

Excel’s real future may be in helping businesses work on a small scale to figure out what they want to measure. But bigger and better tools are available now that allow decision-makers to consolidate and clean their enterprise data, and access it as one, homogeneous data warehouse. Dashboards can surface the insights that are necessary to make course-changing business decisions frequently and timely in visually informative ways. Providing a much higher level of control and a deeper reach for insights, dashboards are becoming the power business tools for today and tomorrow.