There is so much that spreadsheets, particularly an application like Excel, can do that is simply not possible in a database.
Addressing individuals cells cannot be done in a database. Or if there is a workaround, which I am not aware of, it will generally sacrifice something in the process.
The sheer number of functions in Excel compared to Coda or Notion or Airtable puts its capabilities way ahead in terms of fit for purpose. You don’t use a screwdriver to drive a nail although you possibly could in some scenarios! However, the outcome will not be ideal!
Excel and similar spreadsheet applications effectively have their own programming language built in which can be used to extend capabilities far beyond the basic capabilities that many users, even perhaps the majority of users, are content with and which I defy anyone to be able to fully replicate in Coda, Notion or Airtable.
I have seen almost full blown accounting applications designed in Excel and whilst this may be possible to some extent in Coda, Notion, Airtable and the like, again, I defy anyone to produce results comparable to what can be achieved using Excel.
Also, producing output in report form that would be suitable for dissemination to internal managers and externally to clients, banks, investors or other interested parties is easily possible in Excel but not currently in applications like Coda, Notion and Airtable. At least not without the use of a third party application linked via an API.
I have been working with personal computers since the 70s when I bought my first computer, a Commodore VIC 20, and have yet to see an application that can claim to make all other applications redundant. It has not happened despite some claims to the contrary.
A properly designed and purpose built application will beat a “jack of all trades” application hands down every time in terms of capability, performance and results. To program the capability to outperform purpose built applications into an “all you will ever need” application would likely bog down that second application to the extent that it would be unusable in most scenarios.
That is not to say that it will not one day happen but until it does then it is a case of horses for courses in terms of using software that is fit for purpose in both design and capabilities.
I could list the many, many instances where spreadsheets are THE go to tool that cannot currently be surpassed but such information is readily available from reputable websites and space here does not really suit that analysis.
I encourage anyone thinking of dropping spreadsheets to look beyond the hype, and there is a lot of that around the new breed of apps like Coda, Notion and Airtable.