In response to this question on Quora
I find that many early stage companies are using Google Sheets to track their customers, perform growth and retention reports, and much more. If you're used to using a sophisticated data pipeline, this may be a little bit shocking. However, I firmly believe it can be the right choice. It's fast to set up. You don't need to know how to code. Your excel skills are plenty.
In fact, in the pre-product-market-fit stage, you can make the argument it's irresponsible to spend much time at all building a "real" analytics system.
And, depending on your use case, this system could last you quite awhile. If you’re successful and grow, you’ll eventually have to implement a slightly more sophisticated stack. I’ve used both approaches numerous times!
I have a couple of suggestions for those using Google Sheets this way:
Jan 12thin the same column. Make them all
/12/2017, or better yet
01/12/2017(note the leading zero). Format the whole column and forget about it. You can always extract things like day of week, year, etc into other columns if necessary using formulas.
Google Sheets and Excel can take you quite far in your analytics. Don't assume you need a sophisticated solution right away.