Database FAQs

Why can't I just keep my data in spreadsheets?

Spreadsheets are very helpful and easy to use for quick manipulation and presentation of data. However they have a number of problems:

Spreadsheets are unstable.

One bad sort, or an accidental deletion can destroy your data. You can create backups, but very quickly you can end up with too many spreadsheets, with different data, and it can be very difficult to tell which one was the original.

Spreadsheets do not work well with multiple users.

Sharing data with a spreadsheet can become problematic. You can send around copies via email, but if one person makes an edit, it would need to be shared again, and it is very easy to have conflicting versions. The data can be collated into one original sheet, but this is an imperfect solution, as it is a) time consuming, and b) prone to mistakes.

Public or cloud-based spreadsheets solve one of those problems (sharing) but it is again difficult to maintain a reliable and authoritative version.

Spreadsheets do not work well with complex data.

You can easily end up duplicating content, which can easily cause inconsistency in your information.

Databases are:

  • More robust – they maintain a solid structure and are resistant to errors.
  • Shareable - You can have multiple users at a time
  • Flexible: Information can be converted into a virtually unlimited number of formats.
  • Scalable – changes to information and data structures can be handled without causing risks to original data.

They can:

  • handle complex data.
  • export data into spreadsheet formats for quick manipulation and presentation.
  • deliver your data all or in part to a dynamically generated website that you control as you please.

More reasons for working with J. Simon Consulting

  • Real-world solutions to real-world problems.
  • A fraction of the cost of many larger companies.
  • A degree in library and information science adds to understanding not only the technical details in solving the problems, but also provides an expertise in understanding how to structure your information.
  • Security and Privacy of your information are considered as important as functionality
  • You purchase the skills and the package; no recurring fees in most situations.

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