Many offices use Excel spreadsheets on a regular basis, but they may be trying to do much more with it than it was designed for. At some point, it may make more sense to convert your favorite spreadsheet into a database. How can you tell if your spreadsheet has reached this point? Here are four key indicators.
1. You Need Multiple People
Excel spreadsheets are generally designed to be worked on by one person at a time. But as your needs grow, you may find that this is a limitation that results in inefficient work on a shared project. A database, though, can be updated by as few or as many parties as your needs call for.
2. Your Data Keep Growing
One of the most common problems with really useful, ongoing spreadsheets is that they are victims of their own success. As their usefulness grows, so does their data and the number of people using them. But eventually, a popular spreadsheet could easily become so filled with rows and data that it becomes harder to use and less efficient. If your spreadsheet has grown so much that people spend a lot of time searching for the right information, it may be time to turn it into something better equipped to handle more data.
3. Users Need Different Information
Any format involving rows and columns of individual data points is designed to yield more than one result. You would, for instance, enter addresses and phone number separately so you can sort the same data using different criteria. A database is just an easier and more efficient means to focus on vastly different elements within the same library. Rather than simply re-sorting everything together, a database extricates what you need and focuses on it instead of offering every user too much information.
4. Some Users Aren't Savvy
Some people are intimidated by large Excel spreadsheets because they aren't tech-savvy or comfortable with the coding, formulas, and calculations often needed. If your staff has been limited by this concern, a database may alleviate this stress. While it seems more complicated due to the unfamiliar setup, an operation database can be presented in simple, user-friendly screens and prompts. The software does all the hard work behind the scenes.
Has your office suffered from any of these common concerns about your spreadsheet? If so, there may be a solution that's easier than you realize. If you are ready to convert Excel spreadsheets to a database today, contact a database service.