How to Set Up a Database

Wondering how to set up a database? The answer depends on the amount and kind of data you will be storing.

A variety of software programs are available for individuals and small businesses with minimal data storage needs. Microsoft’s Excel program is an example. It is basically a spreadsheet program with limited capabilities.

In Microsoft’s office suite, the next step up from Excel is Access. Access was designed for small businesses and other organizations that have a good deal of data to store and require the ability to access the data in a variety of different ways.

Neither of those programs is fully customizable. In other words, you may not be able to do exactly what you want with them.

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The Microsoft Office Business Suite software package is relatively expensive. The professional version sells for around $350.00. The programs cannot legally be shared between computers. So, a small business with three computers would pay over $1000 just for the software.

An alternative is to talk to a designer about how to set up a database for your business. If your data storage needs are strictly for personal, not for business use, one of the off-the-rack programs may be acceptable. But business owners are rarely satisfied with the results.

A designer can create a customized program for your office that is easy to use and fits your business’ needs exactly. These customized databases are also easy to modify and expand upon as your business grows. All you will really need to do is enter your data.

It’s a good idea to start from the beginning. If you have already accumulated a good amount of data and it is being stored in a number of different places, entering the data will be a time-consuming process. Errors are more likely when people are entering larger amounts of data. You can expect to see names misspelled and phone numbers entered incorrectly. It’s just par for the course.

If you talk to a designer about how to set up a database before you have a large amount of data, you’ll be better off in the long run. This is not something to procrastinate about.

A good designer will do everything possible to help you with the data entry process. He or she will set up a program that is user-friendly and help with training your employees to use the program.

Learning how to set up a database can be challenging. A good designer takes the challenge out of the picture.

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Tom Gruich