Spreadsheet or a database? The rule of thumb…


When you have a new business requirement or process, e.g. Quoting, should you use a spreadsheet or a database?  It is not always obvious.  People sometimes use the words ‘spreadsheet’ and ‘database’ interchangeably which does not help.

A spreadsheet is a cell-structured file such as a Microsoft Excel Workbook or Google Sheet.

A database is a set of inter-related tables of information, e.g. Microsoft SQL or MySQL.  Databases are behind nearly all the software and websites that we all use.

So, what is the best way to move forward?

The Rule of Thumb

If you are going to do something more than once, use a database. 

If it is a one-off, use a spreadsheet.

The Three Steps To Robust Business Software


Step 1: Use a spreadsheet to build up your logical model and consider all the possible inputs and outputs.

Step 2: Resist the temptation to use the spreadsheet in your business with all the problems that will cause (see our growing list of Spreadsheet Horror Stories).

Step 3: Show your spreadsheet to a Business Software Developer (like Working Data) to convert your spreadsheet into genuine, robust Business Software.

Custom Software Development

Save time and money, while boosting productivity

MS Access Support

Upgrades, fixes, new functions and reports.

Upgrade From Spreadsheets

Reduce errors and improve sharing of information. 

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