Google Sheets vs MS Excel - Similarities and Differences

Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are so much related. Both can be used for data analysis. But there are still some of their aspects that differ. Depending on the type of data analysis you wish to carry out, either of them can fit in better. This article will reveal both the similarities and differences between MS Excel and Google Sheets.

Google sheets is one of the online tools provided by Google. There are 4 of them: Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides and Google Forms. While MS Excel is one of the Office packages provided by Microsoft Inc. for data analysis. MS Excel has been available a long ago before Google Sheets. But they have many features in common.


Comparing Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel

Offline Access, Online Access and Synchronization

If the nature of your work requires an offline data analysis tool, then MS Excel is a better tool for you. But you can download and use Google sheets offline. Then save it to your google drive whenever you go online. MS Excel also has the capability to sync all your offline files automatically to Google drive once you go online. So when it comes to offline access, MS Excel wins.

When it comes to online access, that is working on the go, Google Sheets is more preferable to MS Excel. There is no special setup to use Google sheets online, unlike MS Excel.


Do you work as a group or need to access your colleague's data while they are working? Then Google Sheets has the full capability. More than one person can have access to the same file online when working with Google sheets. Although you can still track changes in MS Excel files, but more than one person cannot work on Excel file simultaneously.


When it come to price, Google Sheets wins because it is free for personal use. But for business use, you need to subscribe monthly at $5. But MS Excel is not free. Microsoft Office 365, which is the online version costs $8.25 per month. Another alternative is to buy the offline version from local vendors. But you have limited features unless you upgrade to the online version.

Built In Functions and Formulas

MS Excel wins when it comes to built in functions as there are tons of built in functions for data analysis. But google is constantly adding more functions and formulas to Google sheets. But the similarities is that most of the Excel formulas can also work in Google sheets.

Learn: How to Calculate Mean (Average), Mode and Median in MS Excel

OS Preferences

Because MS Excel was built by Microsoft, they considered only PCs running Windows OS without considering Mac users. This has been a great con to the software tool. But Google Sheets can be used by any OS, be it Windows, Mac, or any other Operating System.



You have now seen the similarities and differences between Microsoft Excel and Google sheets. Depending on usage, you should now be able to spot the one that suits more to your needs.

Like I said earlier, most MS Excle data analysis built in formulas and functions can also work in Google Sheets. Learn more about these functions, their business applications and how to apply it in any data analysis software tool.

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