In last week’s column, Heather Godfrey of CM Databases told me why all business owners should have a database. After her convincing response, I dug a little further.
I asked her the following:
What’s the benefit of having a database over having a spreadsheet?
“Any means of recording your data in an ordered way is having a database, and spreadsheets can be used in a database kind of way.
“But a spreadsheet is not the right tool for the job of contact-management. It’s like using a wheelbarrow to do the shopping; it does the job eventually, but requires far greater effort, and creates havoc on the way.
“Spreadsheets often feature a list of ‘names’ consisting of a mix of individuals, organisations, or couples, so that anything done with that list omits to record who you are dealing with.
“Moreover, the temptation to copy/paste a list of names is too great! As soon as you have a name listed twice, the trouble begins: someone moves home or changes job, you change one instance and forget the others, then eventually you won’t remember which is correct.
“Spreadsheets are bad news for business management, because inconsistency equals mess, and mess equals inefficiency.