I see the disdain for Excel here so often. So, I ask again, what are the alternatives? (Genuinely, I'd like to know)
There's a lot of IT experts commenting here, and I'm sure many of you could take a big Excel model and develop it into a proper structured database, with a nice shiny front-end and all the bells and whistles etc. But what then?
The point is that this is your jobs, and your skills. The typical Excel user is not usually an IT expert, but has other skills in other disciplines, and is merely using Excel as the easiest tool to get done what they need to do. It takes a big step in needs and complexity before any kind of budget is ever made for taking something out of Excel and moving it into 'IT world', where people with specialist IT skills take over development.
Unless I'm blatantly unaware of something obvious, there's simply nothing else that's anything like as ubiquitous available in this gap. Is there a database and frontend development software package that has a nice GUI, is accessible to non IT folk, and at the same time meets the approval of the IT specialists? Until there is, every business is going to have 1000's of mission critical excel workbooks kicking around.
PS. I know Power BI covers some of this, but it's really just a fancy dashboard, and doesn't overlap with most of what Excel can do with data.