Working Data

Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

In the final round we look at which tool is the better long term platform for your business as it adapts and grows.

As your business develops and grows, and your market evolves and matures, you want your business systems to have the scope and flexibility to develop and grow with you.  How is this best achieved whilst ensuring that bureaucracy bloat is kept to a minimum?

Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

spreadsheets-do-not-adapt-and-growAs a business grows and becomes more complex its systems need to help keep you on top of this.

You may need to develop more systems and processes.  These will need controls and measures in place.  Staff training and monitoring becomes more important.

If you were to base a growing business on a spreadsheet system you would Read More »Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 9: Monitor Team Performance

In this penultimate round we look at whether spreadsheets or database are a more effective tool when you want to monitor and review your team’s performance.  How do each of these bits of software help you keep on track with who is doing what, their progress, who is reaching new heights and who needs some help.

Round 9: Monitoring Team Performance

A graphic illustrating monitoring team performance with spreadsheetsHow would you use a spreadsheet to monitor and review your team’s performance?

You could keep track of certain key measurements, such as sales, in a list and then compile these into a graph showing changes over time.Read More »Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 9: Monitor Team Performance

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 6: Restricting Access by Logon

Moving into the second half of this Spreadsheets vs Database contest we look at how to restrict user access by using logins and setting access levels. That is, allowing certain people to see certain things, but not others.

This is about keeping our more sensitive information secure and private, such as payroll or customer information.  In addition, restricting access based on a user’s logon priviledges can also be helpful in keeping software simple to use as the user is not presented with too many options at once.

Round 6: Restricting Access by User Logon Priviledges

Spreadsheets

restrict-access-by-login-priviledgeWithin Microsoft Excel it is possible to set a password for the entire workbook (or file).  Using that in combination with the individual cell properties it is possible to make certain cells read-only, therefore blocking the user from making any alterations to that cell.

You can also hide columns, rows and worksheets with a workbook.  This means that you can hide certain aspects of the spreadsheet. However, with the single password you can undo all these preventative measures and make hidden elements visible again.Read More »Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 6: Restricting Access by Logon

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?

Round 3: INSTANT REPORTING

Spreadsheets

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

Spreadsheets

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

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?