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 find these would become unmanageable.  Spreadsheets are useful for one-off calculations but they are not suitable to a multi-user, multi-functional environment.

Compiling the data into useful or accurate reporting would be very difficult.  Managing the different versions of each spreadsheet file would be difficult and time consuming.

Databases

graphic demonstrating how a database can adapt and grow as your business growsDatabases allow connected, related information to be easily stored.

A custom database system helps to keep each user’s screen clear of things they won’t use, so it easier to train new staff.

Your data is stored centrally so reporting is still quick and simple.

There are some infrastructure considerations to be made as a database system grows.  You may need to upgrade certain elements of the engine.  However, this won’t change the user interface so you won’t have to retrain your team.

Databases can also connect into other databases and programs such as accounting software.

RESULTS

We believe that the inherent issues in using spreadsheets as your business system become exacerbated as your business grows.  They are really only useful for one off calculations and would quickly become a bottleneck for a growing business.

A database application, designed around your business, can adapt and grow as your business evolves and grows.

Given this ability to be flexible and work alongside a business as it matures and evolves, databases win this round.  The final score:

Databases 9½ : Spreadsheets ½

It’s a resounding victory for databases as the tool of choice over spreadsheets.  If you would like to find out how a Custom Access database could help your business, please contact us.

Here are some other articles you may find interesting:

  1. 10 reasons to move your business to a custom Access database
  2. Cut’n’Paste Errors
  3. How to get the reports you need to guide your business

Click here to find out more about Working Data.

Read about how we make custom Access databases for a wide range of clients.