In this article we will explore the rationale behind using a database solution like SQL over a spreadsheet like Ms Excel in context of small and medium sized firms.
Small Businesses are often at a loss while deciding to choose between a spreadsheet and a database solution while looking to execute routine tasks. Although, both have special features, yet it becomes difficult sometimes figuring out which one to use for what. Spreadsheets like MS Excel, a program which is a part of Microsoft Office, has been a hot favorite among small businesses since decades for its ease in processing data and automatic calculations. On the other hand, database solutions are incomparable when it comes to dealing with huge data and managing it in an error free way. In this article, we will help you guide through the features of a database solution and a spreadsheet and why the former is preferred over the latter.
Before computers were invented, accountants or book keepers were employed to maintain record books using pencil, paper and pen on worksheets. With the emergence of computers, these stationery items were replaced with spreadsheets in which the employee started feeding records manually in different rows and columns. These spreadsheets were used not just for recording business records but also for scheduling, tracking and maintaining employee information. The most common name when it comes to spreadsheets in computers is that of MS Excel Spreadsheets and now with Lotus 1-2-3, the functionality has widened helping the users to make charts, graphs and use other useful data formatting tools.
Defining Database Solutions
On the other hand, a database solution helps in organizing data on a specific subject for later retrieval. The best benefit of using database solutions is to retrieve data by asking a set of questions; this is not all, they are also an edge over spreadsheets in filtering, sorting and extracting information from invoice and formatted reports that can also be later printed. Using records, databases can at once search for a particular requirement of data as compared to spreadsheets.
Best Usage of Spreadsheets
Although, both spreadsheets and databases are invented to access and store information; yet spreadsheets are better to use when you want to track an easy list of data or you wish to create an emergence scenario records. You may also use spreadsheets to perform automatic calculations or when you want to make financial charts or graphs.
Best Usage of Database Solutions
On the other hand, database solutions are best to be used when the information is wide and unmanageable. DBMS are also perfect for maintaining and working on ongoing records related to a particular subject. Moreover, when you feel like the record will be needed to change frequently, go for database solutions instead of using spreadsheets. Apart from this, database solutions are also better when it comes to generate business reports only based on the information.
To sum it up, it can be clearly stated that small business which are still in their nascent stages can still do using spreadsheets like MS Excel that are less complicated. However if your small business is growing and you need to manage line of business application, manage records of customers running into hundreds or have different branches; a database solution like SQL server would be ideal for your needs.
SQL Crashes can be difficult to handle in a small business ecosystem
Databases by their very nature are complex pieces of software and if they get corrupted retrieving data from them can be a tricky affair. If you are using a SQL Server database instance and encounter a crash, you need to immediately use a sql recovery tool like DataNumen SQL Recovery application. It can instantly retrieve all your records and can handle situations where a checksum error has been noticed or a logical error has occurred.
Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including access recovery and sql recovery software products. For more information visit https://www.datanumen.com/