Automated Workflows and Charting Are Very Powerful

Jim Hook
Jim Hook ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 06/14/22 in Add Ons and Integrations

My Smartsheet application is going on six years old now and was in need of a rewrite after years of incremental improvements that used newly available capabilities in Smartsheet and as the needs of my company changed. My application basically takes project timekeeping data from an internally developed app via the Smartsheet API and applies financial analysis to the projects as well as weekly tracking of billable hours, revenue recognition, project invoicing, etc. Because automatic workflows and many advanced functions and capabilities (like cross sheet references, charting and dashboards) were not available in Smartsheet until 2018, my app made very extensive usage of links (probably over 100,000 of them) between sheets to transfer data from one sheet to another and relied on transferring data to an Excel spreadsheet for the charts.

Before starting to rewrite my Smartsheet app I looked at several alternatives for a new platform to reimplement the old app including Salesforce (plus a lot of custom code), Tableau, Airtable, Power BI, Financialforce, Zapier, etc., but in the end upgrading to the Smartsheet Business Plan was by far the best choice because of the ease of implementing charts on dashboards, referencing datatables using cross sheet references and archiving project and weekly financial results using automated workflows and Smartsheet reports without involving third party applications. It was also priced very reasonably compared to the other alternatives. The new application will use just around 1000 links to connect processing Smartsheets to datatable Smartsheets. Automated workflow triggers with conditional actions are the most versatile I've found in my market research and I heavily rely on them now. I'm about 30% through the rewrite and couldn't be happier with the new approach.