Do you have spreadsheets that are unwieldy and fail to provide the information you need to run your business? If so then you may want to consider converting your spreadsheet to a database. A custom database application will give you many capabilities that spreadsheets could never provide – like great reporting and data analysis.
Database Technologies Have Improved, Costs Reduced
A major factor in customers proceeding with database projects today is that the technologies have improved so much we now build custom database software applications at a fraction of the cost of those built several years back.
Not only will the analysis of your processes go quickly, but creation of the database and the surrounding application for data management and reporting will go smoothly as well. The result to the customer is a powerful database system that automates their processes and will take the company into the future at a very reasonable cost.
Reasons to Convert a Spreadsheet to a Database
Several reasons that you may want to convert your spreadsheet to a database:
- You have to enter data multiple times.
- You can’t summarize data the way you need.
- You can’t get succinct reports out of your spreadsheet needed to run your business.
- There are too many manual changes needed to get your data out of the spreadsheet.
- Your spreadsheet is extremely huge and unwieldy to keep up to date.
- You have many spreadsheets linked together.
- Sharing violations occur when multiple people open one spreadsheet.
- People are entering invalid data into the spreadsheet and you need to maintain data integrity by enforcing rules like true or false, numerical data or field lengths. I have seen people use the letter ‘o’ into a number field so the data would look right. This will obviously throw off your calculations.
- Data presentation – databases can present data uniquely and customized to each user of the system based on their needs, which is very difficult with a spreadsheet.
The Technical Aspect of Database Design: Data Normalization
Data normalization is the concept of designing your database so there is no repeating data and no anomalies associated with adding or deleting data. For example, when you delete a telephone number you (probably) don’t want to delete the contact as well. Normalizing your database properly ensures you won’t have these problems.
Data normalization is a critical step in database design, so make sure you do it when you convert your spreadsheet to a database.
When you move from a spreadsheet to a database you usually have to do some data cleanup. For example you may have entered credit cards like M/C, Mastercard, American Express, AX, Amex, etc. If you want accurate data and reports then all of this will have to be standardized before importing into your database.
Other Database Design Tips
If you’re serious about designing your own database then you’ll need to also need to do the following:
- Naming conventions – make sure that you name tables and fields according to current standards. In short, you can’t name objects with systems names like Name and Date. Spaces aren’t allowed. Use descriptive names according to exactly what is in the table or field.
- Learn the languages – You’ll probably want to learn the language of databases Structured Query Language, more commonly referred to as SQL. You’ll also need to learn an application language like PHP to be able to present your database information on a web page.
- Unique data – put only one type of data into a field. For example, don’t create a field like EventAndDate that will store data like Debbie’s birthday, 12/15/2018. Split it into two separate fields.
Have 21st Design Your Database
We have been designing and building custom databases and database software applications for 20+ years, our costs are reasonable and our database applications always solve your problems – or we won’t even start. We’ll do a free initial analysis and give you an idea of whether or not a database can fix your data problems. Once we decide to proceed, our analysis of your business process ensures that the database will support your operations and improve your processes immensely.
Complete the form at the top-right of the page, let us know your problem and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours – guaranteed!