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.

It would require some manual steps and compilation and someone to maintain control over the most up to date version of the spreadsheet.

There is also the possibility that the spreadsheet would not be updated on a regular basis. It might be seen as an extra chore.

Staff might be tempted to take the easy option.

Databases

graphic demonstrating the immediacy of information available when monitoring your team using a database systemIn a database system all of the data is in one, organised place.

You can extract complete reports directly from it.

The data will be completely current and accurate.

There are no manual steps in creating the report outside of the database.

You have immediate access to the up-to-the-minute information allowing you to make the most effective decisions.

RESULTS

Spreadsheets can be useful if you want to get a single snapshot, or a one-off report on how things are going. But, trying to make an ongoing, useful, reporting tool requires several manual steps and version discipline. People can easily forget to get the most up to date figures for the spreadsheet and then reporting becomes inconsistent and often the whole idea is scrapped.

With a database you can build in performance reporting directly into the system. This means that you get up to the minute, accurate reporting without anyone having to do any additional work. This means that you get ongoing, in-depth performance monitoring allowing you to guide and motivate your team.

Given their ability to provide full and current reporting without any addition effort, databases win this round.  The score so far:

Databases 8½ : Spreadsheets ½

Here are some other articles you may find interesting:

  1. Cut’n’Paste Errors
  2. How to get the reports you need to guide your business

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