You probably manage more than a few people, places and things every day. Wouldn’t it be helpful if most of what you need was right at your fingertips? The longer it takes you to find and manage the information you need, the harder it is to succeed.
If you’re still using spreadsheets (or pen and paper), you’re probably wasting some of your or your employees’ valuable time (and quite possibly creating regular and unnecessary stress). Save time, save money, lower stress, GROW!
Here’s how a storing data in a database can help:
Data is more easily searched.
Example: Your employee takes a call for you from Fred and adds the info in the customer spreadsheet so you can call him back when you’re in. There are 3 Fred’s in your spreadsheet, and 10 customer notes that day. Your options are to find and look at each Fred or each note for the day to find the one you need, or re-sort your entire sheet by name and date. With a database, you can simply search ‘Fred’ in the name field and ‘today’ in the date field at the same time, and quickly see only the one result you need.
Data is more easily reported on.
Example: You’d like to look at average sales, average profit, total sales, and total profit for each client monthly. In a spreadsheet, that requires 4 different client reports and a new sheet to put them all together. In a database, it is just a few calculated fields that are always there, any time you want to look at them.
Data is easier to view.
Example: You get a call from Jim Jones. You have two spreadsheets – customers and calls – that are linked, but when you take the call you’ll need to sort by ‘Jim Jones’ to see his call history as the calls are in date order. Need his email? You’ll have to switch back to the customer list and find it, then back again to type the note that you sent him information. In a database, you would simply find Jim and click a button to view his linked history. His email address would remain in front of you, and you could type your note in the same full easy-to-view Jim Jones record.
No copying and pasting!
Example: You want to add a column to calculate the three-digit zip code for your clients so you can sort on it for a bulk mailing. You add the column, add the calculation in the first cell, and then copy and paste it, or drag it, to the rest of the cells in the sheet – all 500 of them. In your database, you simply add the field and it is automatically added to each record (row). Want to change the calculation? Just change the field (column) definition – no copying and pasting required.
No oops I forgot to save it!
Perhaps the best thing about a modern cloud-based database is that changes and additions are live and do not require you to ‘save’. When you are finished typing notes in Fred’s record, if you close it before the auto-save time and forget to save, the notes are gone! *Many cloud-based spreadsheets like Google or Zoho sheets are also live and do not require saving but have some very cumbersome record-locking limitations when working on them from multiple or remote locations.
Did you know if you are blogging, you are using a database? That’s how your posts are managed and shown to your readers! Imagine if you had to type your blog posts in a spreadsheet…
So how do you ditch the spreadsheets and switch to a database? Google ‘cloud database’ and you’ll find multitudes of new options. I recommend Airtable for anyone who doesn’t have any knowledge of how to set up or manage a database. It’s simple to set up and manage, and easy to change as your needs and skills change and grow. I use databases to update and share everything from testimonials and help tools for customers to event reports for attendees, connection tools for event managers and even our internal GOTIPS procedure manual!