If you are not familiar with the topic, the first question coming to mind is: what exactly is business data? Data is quantitative (numbers) or qualitative (text) values. Business data can be information about clients, contracts, tasks or any other specifics in need to be tracked. Thereby, data can be collected, measured, processed, analyzed, and shared. There are many ways to store business data. The best methods are described in this article.
Why You Should Collect Data
The most successful enterprises track their interactions with their customers, and their own company, in an organized manner. That basically means they collect data such as their clients’ information, their tasks, their interactions with customers and providers, and all other relevant information about their business operations. When using a tool such as online database software to manage data, businesses streamline the process into a safe, secure, and efficient manner.
How to Collect Data: 3 Methods Worth a Try
The best method to collect data is obviously the one that fits your needs. There are many data collection methods such as pen and paper, typing in a word processor, spreadsheets or online databases.
Pen and Paper or Word Processor
I must confess, even if I’ve been in the online database software business for years now, I still have a stack of notebooks and a drawer full of all sorts of pens and pencils in my office. I mainly use it for jotting quick notes on paper during meetings or when I have a great idea I don’t want to slip away. It’s the good old way and the feel of the pen on paper is still quite satisfying for me. Word processors can be used in the same way when in a rush. The keypad is a great tool to log in notes quickly.
On the other hand, using such methods to do more than taking quick notes might be a mistake. If the information about your three hundred clients is in a notebook, you will lose time and your temper trying to find the contact you need to talk to right away. For the analysis and organization of business data, you need a tool allowing you to slice and dice the information efficiently.
My opinion is clear on the subject, I’m not a big fan of spreadsheets. It quickly gets out of sync as soon as you need to share the information within your team. Don’t get me wrong, I can see some uses for my longtime nemesis. Spreadsheets are great for quantitative data (numbers). It remains my best tool to assemble instant expense reports. In short, it is best exploited for a single user and a simple project.
Same as for the pen and paper or for the word processor, when it comes to qualitative data (text), spreadsheets quickly can’t keep up with the task at hand. There is also a steep learning curve to master the formulas. If you want to do pivot tables, would you rather learn formulas or drag and drop your rows and columns? An online database software will allow you to work quickly and productively, assembling pivot tables with just a few clicks.
At its simplest expression, a database is the collection of data, organized in tables. Traditional database management systems (DBMS) require its user to learn how to program, using languages such as SQL. An online database software allows citizen developers to create their own apps and projects using simple tools and known languages. If you can use a word processor, you can use an online database software.
With online databases, the data is logged in the cloud, safe and secure. It is accessible at all times, as long as you have an internet connexion. It is quick and easy to adjust preferences. This kind of software allows its users to keep their data up-to-date at all times and allows multiple users to interact with the data at the same time. It offers extended features to create reports, email data to colleagues or clients, or create personalized dashboards. An online database can handle a single user or a huge team. It can deal with numbers and text without issue. It can take on big or small projects. Overall, it is an all-in-one solution to manage all your business data.
3 Things You Can Do With the Collected Data
Track Your Interactions With Clients
If you decide to create a client management application, you get to track the exact information you need to know about your clients. On top of keeping all their personal data safe, secure, and accessible, an online database software allows you to add comments about your interactions or their preferences. Simply add a comment section to your application. It will allow you to add a quick note every time you interact with a specific customer. You can go back to your notes any time you need them.
Generate Automated Reports
Use the report template wizard to create HTML, XML, text or Word format reports. Add all your application fields or just a few to customize your templates, and take advantage of the grouping and sorting options. You can automatically share your reports with your team, make them public on the web, or even create mass mailing campaigns. Reports can be scheduled according to your specific needs and emailed to selected users or people outside of your team. Creating and automating reports is a great way to save time and share your data in an organized manner.
Group Your Data for Easy Access
An online database software will let you create easy to access default searches. These are created at the application or project level and can be assembled in search groups. From your workspace, quick access selected subgroups of data. This information is presented in grids or calendars. Default searches offer a swift and simple access to your data.
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