Excel vs. Google Sheet

Main Difference

For highly specialized and offline-data driven, MS is a better choice. Google sheet is for online work and is better for not too much specialized work.


excelMicrosoft Excel is a spreadsheet application developed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms

Google Sheet

google-sheetGoogle Spreadsheets is a Web-based application that allows users to create, update and modify spreadsheets and share the data live online. The Ajax-based program is compatible with Microsoft Excel and CSV (comma-separated values) files. Spreadsheets can also be saved as HTML.

Key Differences

  • Collaboration: As others mentioned, collaboration is where Google really shines. It’s incredibly easy for multiple people to work on a spreadsheet simultaneously, and this makes for a powerful project management use case.
  • Cloud Storage: Underrated feature when people typically make this comparison, but found huge value to be able to start work on a desktop computer, continue working on it in a laptop, and even make changes on mobile. This works seamlessly.
  • Version Control: Have you seen files named like “Analysis v12.3 LX [final][present ready] 20141208.xlsx“? Yeah, doesn’t happen in Sheets, but you still get the document history backed up to virtually every change you made in the same document.
  • Apps Script:People typically laud VBA as something that makes Excel very powerful. Unbeknownst to most, Google Apps Scripts does that as well, and it’s an exceptionally powerful tool, based in Javascript. You can easily run scripts, and connect to APIs and such with some work. It’s so much easier to connect to other resources on the web.
  • Raw Processing Power:Excel is uses memory more efficiently as a native app (on Windows) and is much more responsive. If you are analyzing 10,000+ rows of data, I’d say it’s a no-brainer to use Excel. That said, if you are managing very large data sets (300,000+ rows), I’d urge you to consider a real data analysis tool (SQL, MATLAB, etc.) instead. Even Excel stalls
  • Chart Formatting:Excel offers extensive options for formatting charts that Sheets simply cannot do. Changing axis names, formatting data values, etc. – they matter when you are presenting to executive audiences. This extends somewhat to formatting in general.
  • Exploratory Analysis:This is my go-to use case of Excel. Excel has much more built out pivot table, filtering, conditional formatting, and other data visualization tools. When I see a data set for the first time, I always open it in Excel to have a better understanding of its structure.
  • China:If you want to deliver something to China, you simply cannot use Google Apps since it’s blocked!

Video Explanation


2 thoughts on “Excel vs. Google Sheet”

  1. =Day(NN)
    gives different results in Excel and Googlesheet when NN<61.
    NN vs NN-1
    I am wondering what the logic behind the Googlesheet.


Leave a Comment