Electronic spreadsheets are stored digitally, and they can receive input from a number of sources. Information can be typed manually, but it can also be received automatically from online sources and specialized tools. Once this information has been compiled, users have the ability to search for information quickly, enabling users to recall information faster than is possible with information printed on paper.
Most spreadsheet software can also be programmed to perform calculations automatically, enabling users to update information without having to perform calculations by hand or with a calculator. For example, if the price of a manufacturing component changes, a spreadsheet can be programmed to automatically calculate the cost of a large shipment. This information can be fed into other programs as well.
Spreadsheets are also a convenient method of collaborating with others. People are able to use a spreadsheet to calculate a company's total budget, and this spreadsheet can be saved to a file and shared through email. As more and more businesses turn to cloud-based operations, many are turning to online spreadsheets that enable more efficient collaboration.