Bespoke Software

6 Questions to ask yourself before buying Business Software

1. What do I need and want the software to do?

It may seem an obvious question!  I would really recommend writing it all down though.  It will really clarify what your requirements and expectations are.  Getting into the detail early will help you prepare and increase the likelihood of success.  When you contact potential suppliers or prospective developers it gives you a great starting point.

Once you have made your full list of requirements, separate them into ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’.  There will be some requirements which are absolutely crucial.  The sort of thing where you think, if it doesn’t do that there there’s no point.Read More »6 Questions to ask yourself before buying Business Software

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 4: Business Intelligence

The Free Dictionary defines Business Intelligence as ‘.. a set of theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes.’  It goes on to say that Business Intelligence  ‘..can handle large amounts of information to help identify and develop new opportunities.’

So, how do Spreadsheets and Databases measure up when looking into Business Intelligence and the ability to identify new trends and direction for the business?  Spreadsheets vs databases moves on to round four…Read More »Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 4: Business Intelligence

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 3: Instant Reporting

In the third round of this comparison of Spreadsheets and Databases we look at Instant Reporting.

Computers can compile information into useful outputs, like invoices, and insightful reports if we feed it the correct data.  Which of our two contenders will come out on top?



non-instant-reportingWith Microsoft Office, Excel can give you pretty graphs which you can tinker with for what seems like hours of pure pre-presentation pleasure.  But, it can be very time-consuming if you have to pull data in from several different sources to generate the report you need.  There is also the worry about the accuracy and age of the data.  Because there are so many manual steps required there is also a much greater possibility of human error creeping in.Read More »Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 3: Instant Reporting

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 2: Task Automation

Continuing our examination of which is more useful in the office, spreadsheets or databases, we look at task automation.One of the benefits of computers in the modern workplace is that they can automate many dull, repetitive tasks and complete them in seconds.  This makes a business more productive and efficient and allows staff to concentrate on creative, value-adding activities.

So, which one is better at it, spreadsheets or databases?

Round 2: Task Automation


task-not-automatedI think we have probably all used spreadsheets to do some calculations at some point, perhaps adding up a column of numbers or something like that.  So, Excel can do some calculation for simple things like that.  How does it fair with more complex things like, printing out a payment reminder?  How about printing out all your payment reminders?  I realise that is a lot more complicated than just adding up some numbers, but it is a real day-to-day task which is important but time-consuming.  Well, with Excel we can automate things a bit more than just doing sums by using macros.  Read More »Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 2: Task Automation

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 1: Multi-User

The two heavyweights in day-to-day office life are spreadsheets and databases. Most of the software we all use which isn’t a spreadsheet is based on a database.  Accounting software, an online shop and your CRM are all database-related programs.

Many businesses still rely heavily on spreadsheets to help them run the day-to-day.  Others are convinced that databases help them be more productive, efficient and creative. We thought we should see how these two match up against each other by examining 10 of the most important ways they can help or hinder your day at work.  Seconds out…

In the first round we look at the multi-user capabilities of each.  How easy is it for more than one person to work at the same time?

ROUND 1: Multi-User



A common issue with spreadsheets is how to share them.  The usual call round the office is ‘Have you finished with the spreadsheet yet?’  As well as being frustrating this is a real productivity bottleneck.  How long before someone gets fed up and starts a separate spreadsheet or just guesses at something and makes a mistake.  Spreadsheets definitely suffer in a multi-user environment, which is most offices.  It’s not looking good in this round for Spreadsheets!Read More »Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 1: Multi-User

Has Your Team Outgrown Spreadsheets?

Here’s how you can tell –

  • Does more than one person need to use it at the same time?
  • Would you like the spreadsheet to give you more tools and reporting?
  • Has your business changed since the spreadsheet was set up?
  • Does it take up time you’d rather spend on creative, value-adding tasks.

If you have answered ‘Yes!’ to any of these questions then it is time to consolidate your spreadsheets into a single, user-friendly bespoke database.

With a Working Data Bespoke Database you get:Read More »Has Your Team Outgrown Spreadsheets?

How To Get The Reports You Need To Guide Your Business

I have recently been away for a well-earned break by the seaside.  It has been a hectic year full of change, technical challenges and new developments.  On my return I wanted to review the previous 12 months at Working Data and check out some basic management reporting.


Using our in-house Custom Access Database I pulled up the report showing the source of the last 12 months’ clients.  47% of our invoicing total came from repeat business with our existing clients.


Read More »How To Get The Reports You Need To Guide Your Business

Want To Delegate To Your Team? Give Them The Right Tools

When you started out, you were happy to do everything. Now, your business is growing, the workload is increasing and you are building a team.

Are you ready to delegate to them?

Have you got the tools in place to delegate and still maintain control over your business?

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With an integrated Custom Access Database you are giving your team the platform they need.Read More »Want To Delegate To Your Team? Give Them The Right Tools