What Is A Database?
Simply put a database is any type of software program where data is entered, stored and retrieved.
Don't think you've ever worked with a database before? Outlook is a Contacts, E-Mail and Scheduling Database, Quickbooks is a Financial Database, Facebook is a Social Media Database... The list goes on and on. You may be more Database savvy than you realize!
Does your company need a database?
Not sure if you need a database? Do you ever find that...
The data you have is often inaccurate, outdated or incomplete?
You constantly have to re-enter data or re-arrange your spreadsheets to produce reports?
You have a large number of spreadsheets saved in various locations?
Your employees all have different ways of keeping your company’s information, and if one of them is away you do not have access to the information?
When you search for information you often miss things due to something as simple as a spelling error?
If a customer phones, you have to put them on hold while you search for their file folder (which of course could be anywhere)?
If any of this sounds familiar you could probably use a database.
Why is a database better?
Why is a database better than a spreadsheet?
Information in a database is linked together, only needs to be entered once, and it can be referenced and reused over and over again.
The information being entered can be standardized so that it is entered in the same format each time it is input.
Consistent formats reduce data entry time and makes searching for information more accurate and efficient.
A database can produce reports instantaneously and the reports do not have to be recreated each time they are required.
Most Importantly: A database can be stored in one central location that can be accessed by multiple users at the same time.
For more information on a database versus a spreadsheet please see the Excel vs Access Tutorial
Why use Microsoft Access?
We use Microsoft Access which is part of the Microsoft Office Suite for Business.
It is designed to integrate seamlessly with other Office Products like Word, Excel or Outlook.
As it is part of the Office Suite this eliminates the need to buy new, expensive database software with restrictive licensing agreements.
It can be easily customized to client requirements.
It is a great tool for handling internal data management requirements (file folders) as opposed to external requirements (website traffic).
It is an all-in-one software program that not only stores the information but also provides a user-friendly interface for data entry and produces instant, professional reports to analyze the data