Why a Database?
Spreadsheets are often used for many
day-to-day processes, from timesheets to job cards and invoicing. But
spreadsheets are '2D', with rows and columns, and they can be very limited
once you need to do other things with the data (E.g. produce invoices or
reports from timesheets)
Databases are effectively '3D', and
potentially enable you to view the data from different angles.
If the database is a good fit and
well written, some of the benefits include:-
Time-savings and Productivity
Automating and simplifying repetitive processes can saves very significant amounts of time. This increase in efficiency can translate into reduced costs, or enable staff to spend time on potentially more productive exercises, such as marketing. In short, time-savings increase productivity, and therefore profitability.
Flexible and Customisable
Even off-the-shelf packages can usually be customised to some degree, either by way of in-built configuration options, or by way of programming changes. Business requirements can change over time, but many database systems will have some form of upgrade paths, add-ons, or customisation options.
Once the database has been debugged, the results should be correct every single time.
There are often ways to spread the cost of software over many years, either by partial deferment or by way of monthly subscription.
Business databases are based on business rules. If you have implemented a database which fits your business, then you have probably encapsulated much of the complexity of the business into a simple-to-use database. There is less reliance on individuals, which makes the whole business more robust, and more valuable.