From Spreadsheets to Code – Schematiq vs. Python – a Business Perspective

20 April 2023

When faced with the limitations and challenges of complex, mission-critical Excel spreadsheets, businesses often consider rewriting them in a programming language such as Python.  

In part one of this insight series, we’ll explore using Schematiq as an alternative to rewriting spreadsheet in Python Excel - Schematiq vs. Python, and what that means to the business.  Part two will offer perspectives from the business users who are dependent on Excel and Python models in their work. 

Some of the main factors for consideration at a business-level include:  

Time, effort, and project risk 

Rewriting a spreadsheet in Python requires a significant investment of time and cost: understanding the original spreadsheet’s logic; translating formulas into code and testing the new implementation. It is not unusual to see a project running into many months whilst the requirements are ‘locked’ into a new model, which, in today’s volatile operating landscape where business requirements are subject to regular change is a problem.  

Schematiq optimises and converts existing spreadsheets into cloud-hosted APIs without needing a complete rewrite. The same outcome, in minutes rather than months and one which can be quickly and easily updated by the user in response to changing business requirements.  

Collaboration and scale 

Excel is used widely used across our core industries of finance, insurance, and energy trading. Its user-friendly interface makes it accessible to a broad range of users across the business. Rewriting a spreadsheet in Python often limits the number of people who can work with it, as non-technical users often struggle to interact with the Python equivalent. Schematiq’s approach of retaining the familiar Excel front-end and rapidly transforming the business logic into code means these proven building blocks can be easily shared between colleagues, teams, and departments whilst the underlying logic itself remains under version control. 

Adapting to changing business requirements 

Once a spreadsheet has been rewritten into Python, maintaining and updating it requires costly Python expertise, which is often a scarce resource within businesses. This dependence on limited resources becomes a limiting factor for business users whose needs are often left unsatisfied at the expense of the most mission-critical Python requirements. Schematiq’s model of empowering the user and ‘citizen developer’ to own and update their models means they can be more agile in responding in real-time to changes in their operating landscape, better positioning them for success. 

Integrating with other business applications and data  

Schematiq’s ability to convert Excel spreadsheets into code and quickly connect to data outside of Excel simplifies integrating with other software, data, and services within the business. This connectivity enables better insight and decisions, lower risk, and greater efficiency. While Python has libraries and tools for integration, it requires more effort and expertise to establish and maintain connections. 


While rewriting a spreadsheet in Python may offer some advantages, it has challenges. Schematiq provides a more efficient and accessible solution that retains the familiar Excel environment and simplifies integration with other systems. By choosing Schematiq, businesses can save time, reduce complexity, and maintain the accessibility and ease of collaboration that Excel provides. 

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