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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2

    Unanswered: Excel versus database systems

    Hi,

    I have a client who is trying to use excel for data entry instead of a simple web based system... I need to convince the big boss that this is a bad idea (and if you disagree with me, please let me know). The reasons I'm giving are:

    - excel is not a DB software, but made to analyse data from DB softwares
    - excel cannot be relational so data with multiple records can bring problems later
    - it has limitations as the data grows
    - it would be fidly (since there are 8 different locations using it), so someone would have to merge 8 different excel files in the end of the month, while a DB / web system could be centralized

    Is there any other reason - mainly on technical limitations or anything that I could use?

    Many many thanks! :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    1,004

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by grazi View Post
    Hi,

    I have a client who is trying to use excel for data entry instead of a simple web based system... I need to convince the big boss that this is a bad idea (and if you disagree with me, please let me know). The reasons I'm giving are:

    - excel is not a DB software, but made to analyse data from DB softwares
    - excel cannot be relational so data with multiple records can bring problems later
    - it has limitations as the data grows
    - it would be fidly (since there are 8 different locations using it), so someone would have to merge 8 different excel files in the end of the month, while a DB / web system could be centralized

    Is there any other reason - mainly on technical limitations or anything that I could use?

    Many many thanks! :-)

    Well, you seem to have hit the nail on the head. Sometimes it's just hard to get someone to understand the simplicity of a situation. Chances are Excel is what that person is familiar with and doesn't want to change from that. HOWEVER, a Relational DataBase Mgmt. System is what seems most logical. Most notably is that it is RELATIONAL. That keeps the redundancy of data to a reasonable limit right there. Also, Excel can be buggy, and if all fields that have any coding behind happen to be unlocked and someone steps into that cell it is likely they can delete that code that is in it. You have to duplicate the data so many times. Excel tends to be a resource hog if you have so many people opening new instances of it all the time and at the same time. RDBMS was designed for Databases. That's it's sole purpose. Excel can be made to function like a database, with limitations, but I feel you are asking for trouble down the road. RBDMS just seem the way to go for me. I worked for several companies that once I moved everything from Excel to Access, they really loved it and how easy it was to use to manage DATA. This one job I had, when I got it there were 13 steps to collect all the data and construct reports for the meetings. Once I put it all in Access, I cut it down to 3 steps and it was fast, easy and painless. NO, I am not promoting Access, it's just what they had on hand and nobody knew about it.
    Why don't you do as I did. Take a simple task that you do at your job everyday, non-vital and then create and Access app for it and let them check it out and see what they think. Sometimes seeing things helps better than just saying. Once they see it, OR you allow them to sample it on their own, that usually sells them. Wish you the best and keep on trying to convert.

    have a nice one,
    Bud

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2
    Thank you! I'll print your response and bring to my meeting.

    The problem is that they do have an access in place which is very complicated and buggy... and instead of doing a new system or re-doing something on access, they want to start using excel - which for me is a step back.

    I've done some screen wireframes and hopefully with some quotes I might convince them.

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