In a modern business there are two things that really matter: correctly maintaining/managing data and staying agile in a rapidly changing environment. At the meeting-point between these two trends, we witness an ongoing war between traditional data management tools (like MS Excel or MS Access) and recent solutions (like custom online databases). I suggest: turn enemies into friends - convert Excel to a database online and make business, not war.
A Second Nature
Excel has been around for more than 30 years now, and data management technologies have developed greatly since than There have been a whole bunch of heavy hitters trying to dethrone the spreadsheet giant. And yes, sometimes Excel is just a pit of frustration. Piling errors in spreadsheets, troublesome information sharing, and problematic concurrent access by multiple users are Excel's biggest drawbacks.
Still, looks like Excel’s era is far from being over. This is a great tool to maintain spreadsheet data, it's widely used by many individuals and remains an absolute necessity for many businesses. Despite being an online databases admirer, I still find myself using Excel every day.
Yet, Excel alone CANNOT satisfy each and every need of business when it comes to managing data. But companies still try to use this universal tool for their unique business process demands, for example, utilizing Excel as a database or even an 'ONLINE database'! Struggling to meet modern requirements (when everything is online and connected), employees have to email spreadsheets back and forth or put them into shared repositories. It has become a habit to use Excel, and even a risk of duplication and a need for manual synchronization are not stopping businesses from using it! So let me say it out loud once again: Excel is NOT a database and definitely – not an ONLINE one.
Database vs. Excel. Know the Difference
Data management and Data analysis
Display data subsets, data structuring, complex queries
Automation of common events
Calculations, statistical comparison
Database management with multiple users
Easy to generate shareable output
Reports for data summarization
Conditional formatting, chart management
Each solution here has its own advantages and drawbacks. That's not the reason to start the war 'online database vs. Excel' as many vendors do. It’s better to ally them to empower your business by using them both for the thing they fit the best. Face it - you're not going to stop using Excel in the foreseeable future, but offline business tools today are outdated. Create spreadsheets when you need to work with them alone and export them from Excel to a database on the Web when you need to allow multiple users to access the application and edit data at the same time. Do complex modeling or financial analysis and export Excel to a database to set up an online data sharing according to individual user roles.
Smoothly Export Excel to a Database
Converting Excel to a database remains one of the most widely used functions of online databases. That's why most vendors today have their own built-in Excel-to-database converter to make migration as seamless as possible (for example, TeamDesk, TrackVia, Caspio, Zoho Creator, etc.). Just upload the file and the system will automatically import Excel into a database. Do some fine-tuning if needed – and you're all set to go.