by Forest Baskett, PhD
“Hey, can you show me how our 2021 forecast would change if we increased the marketing budget?”
You quickly get to work, rustling through 4-5 applications (Slack, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook…) for an hour to prepare the results...Whew!
“Oh, sorry, did I say 2021 performance? I meant 2022. And what if we were able to decrease our travel expenses as well?” ...Back to the drawing board.
The above scenario is all too familiar to the large population of global workers who interface with spreadsheets—it’s not only tedious, but also extremely frustrating. Needless to say, the process surrounding spreadsheet utilization is long overdue for a makeover.
Spreadsheets as we know them were introduced in the late 1970s and skyrocketed in popularity throughout the decades that followed. Today, there are more than one billion estimated spreadsheet users worldwide with virtually all businesses using spreadsheets regularly to make critical business decisions. However, despite the critical role that spreadsheets play as the fundamental language of business, there has been little innovation in the past 30+ years and they remain difficult to interpret, maneuver, and share. Enter GRID—a Reykjavik, Iceland-based company led by veteran entrepreneur and technology enthusiast Hjalmar Gislason that is giving a modern upgrade to how spreadsheets look and the ways we share and interact with them.
GRID enables you to instantly turn any spreadsheet into a beautiful, interactive, web document that can be securely shared online. With GRID, data becomes interactive for end-users, unlocking new meaning. Some of our favorite use cases include:
Financial planning calculators to help you easily capture all the variables
Dynamic reporting and dashboarding to keep your team up-to-date
Pricing calculators that to release on consumer websites or to your entire sales orgs
Animated infographics that visualize data in an engaging way
...and we’re just getting started.
When NEA first invested in Tableau at the Series A round, we saw the transformative potential of unlocking data with a “Visual Spreadsheet.” With data-driven decision-making becoming increasingly important in achieving business outcomes, we recognized that every enterprise would soon need to access, display, and analyze their information. In more recent years, we have intensified our focus on data analytics with investments in companies that improve visibility (like Sisu or Metabase) or unlock the raw power of big data through data science (like Databricks and DataRobot).
Beautiful by design, but simple to use, GRID caught our eye as a transformational technology that can bring your data to life. In many ways, our investment in GRID is an extension of NEA’s “Visual Spreadsheet” thesis, making the “frontend” of spreadsheets more tangible with interactivity and dynamism, facilitating better forecasting and scenario analysis. Importantly, GRID offers an intuitive interface on top of Excel and Google Sheets so that anyone who understands spreadsheets can easily build with GRID. The result is an empowered enterprise where every team member can contribute to data-driven decision-making.
We are thrilled to lead GRID’s Series A financing and can’t wait to continue using GRID at NEA! Founders Hjalmar and Thorsteinn are building a best-in-class team rooted in the Icelandic ecosystem, and we could not be more excited to be partnering with these product experts with years of experience in data and analytics. If you’re equally enthusiastic about GRID and want to get your hands on the product, check out the company’s beta!