A database is a collection of information organized for easy access and use. Databases range across a wide variety of types and purposes, but they all exist to make life easier in some way. Some databases are for customer information while others contain inventory information or financial information. If you are running a small business, you may not think you need a database. However, your business, large or small, could likely benefit from a database.
You may think that a database would be overkill, as maybe you have a system using Excel spreadsheets. While databases and spreadsheets are similar, there are some key differences. Spreadsheets simply aren’t as powerful as databases when it comes to manipulating large volumes of data. Not only is data entry manual with spreadsheets, but it’s harder to analyze, move, or report on data in spreadsheets. Databases are simply a better way to manage data, so don’t be afraid to leave the spreadsheets behind.
Customer Relationship Management
A customer relationship management database manages customer information. This includes all information such as accounts, leads, contacts, potential opportunities, and more. A record for a single customer can contain contact information, order dates, purchases, customer service calls, favorite products, and any other interactions between customer and company. By storing all of this information, you can look at data trends by generating reports. These data trends can tell you what products are selling well, where most of your customers live, how frequently customers call for service, and much more. Some CRM systems can help run and monitor marketing campaigns based on customer data trends.
Any business that sells products knows inventory tracking is vital. Not knowing how much inventory you have is a quick way for your business to collapse. Since inventory tracking is so important, you also want it to be as simple and easy as possible. An inventory database, when combined with scanners and barcodes, makes tracking what product you have a breeze. By scanning products into a database, you can track how much inventory you have left as you sell items and can easily see when the product goes missing without explanation. An inventory database can even alert you when you need to order replacement stock.
Payroll and HR
Using a database for employee information can make HR matters much easier. Using a database can improve scheduling, prevent payroll errors, and speed up the overall HR process. An employee database keeps track of wages, tax information, vacation time, and any other metric connected to employees. By keeping this information easy to access in a database, you are speeding up the entire HR process.
One of the major benefits of using a database is data analysis. The reports generated by a database can provide invaluable insights for business. Reports can reveal the best selling items, most effective marketing campaigns, staff productivity levels, and much more depending on the data you have available. Reports can even predict future trends so you can be prepared for potential changes.
An Even Better Database
Databases are a great tool for businesses, but it is not a magic tool to solve every problem. A database is only as good as the data fed into it. This means you need to collect the data yourself before it can be organized into a database. Databases also do not organize themselves. Generally, you will need software to organize and use the data. Thankfully, there is a good selection of software available so you can get the most out of your database.
A highly recommended database management software is Kohezion. Kohezion prides itself on being easy to use, even if you have little technical know-how. You do not even need coding skills to set up and maintain a database with Kohezion. However, easy to use does not mean it is lacking in power and capabilities as Kohezion can handle whatever data needs you to throw at it. You can also connect third-party services like Google and Dropbox to add additional features. Pricing starts at around $25 a month for up to five users, which includes an unlimited number of custom business applications.
A database is largely a digital tool, but it does have a physical component. If you house your database without your business, it needs to be stored correctly. Like any computer, a database needs to be stored in a cool and dry environment for optimal performance. The electrical system the database is plugged into also needs to be appropriate. Surge protectors and circuit breakers are important safety features to keep your database safe.
No matter the size of your business, a database can be a great asset. Whether you need to track inventory or customer information, a database can make life easier. You can also use the reporting ability to uncover valuable insights that will help your business. Give implementing a database proper consideration as it can boost your business.