An infamous saying has been circulating again this week, and it’s one I’m sure everybody can relate to – “work smarter, not harder”. The quote originated in the 1930’s by an industrial engineer by the name of Allen F. Morgenstern whose idea was to increase production with less effort. Now this is something we can all get behind and none more so than 80 year old George Bailey. George Bailey is one of Britain’s oldest paperboys and, due to his age, considered retiring from his regular paper round BUT, after a generous donation by Raleigh and Evans Cycles, George is able to continue his paper round using an eBike.
Having the right tools for the job can make all the difference, whether that’s an eBike for delivering in Georges case, a crane for lifting heavy items or a screwdriver to fix that shelf that’s been wonky all these years. Without the right tools, production would be low with a great deal of effort, decreasing confidence and morale in finishing the job. The same can be said for businesses that use inefficient tools to input, store and export their data, one of the main culprits being Spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are great for storing minor amounts of data but, what many fail to realise is that Spreadsheets were never built to store large amounts of data over a prolonged period of time. (Just ask the UK government and the 16,000 positive COVID cases they missed because their spreadsheet ran out of space!)
Just like a crane for heavy lifting or an eBike like George Baileys to deliver his newspapers, a database will increase productivity with far less effort. One member of staff entering data into Spreadsheets doesn’t seem so bad right? When business expands and that one spreadsheet turns into 5 spreadsheets on multiple PC’s, problems arise. Which contains the most up-to-date data? Customer X wants a quote that’s on Staff Member Y’s PC but they’re on annual leave, what do you do?
A database solution will help eliminate these issues with staff able to enter data at the same time into the very same database, clear and concise searching and filtering gives you the data you need almost instantly, and it’s far less labour intensive than entering into a spreadsheet!
Databases are far more common than most people realise. Nearly every system, including company accounts systems use a database as its data engine. Database systems use tables with relationships, for example items ordered belong to a master order record. Each order is then linked to a single customer record. To set up structure of related data is where a database is needed. These structures can’t be created efficiently within a spreadsheet.