Moving Beyond Spreadsheets to Manage Business Growth

  • Spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel have long helped us manage our data. But, as businesses grow, these data storage solutions become more of a burden than a blessing
  • Companies like Kohezion offer a better solution that can take your business’ data storage into the future – online application and database solutions residing in the cloud

Right from the outset we need to make one thing clear: spreadsheets – especially the major ones from the likes of Microsoft Inc. – are amazing tools that can handle most small-to-medium business (SMB) and startup companies’ data storage and sharing requirements.

But, that’s just it; these applications were created to help SMBs and startups while they are still small and their data management process hasn’t grown into a complicated one. As soon as the business begins to grow, it starts to have requirements that also grow into ever-more complicated entities that need to be met with a major expansion in the data flow and storage process. Spreadsheets just won’t cut it anymore.

The Drawbacks of Sticking to Spreadsheets

 

Now, although making the move to an online custom database is highly recommended for businesses that are looking to keep pace with their evolving demands, there are those that will always be reluctant to do it. They would rather stick to their spreadsheets than face what is the undeniable future. These businesses will face drawbacks like:

  • Disorganized data storage: things can quickly spiral out of control when everyone in the business starts saving their data on spreadsheets located on their own devices. Tracing files and tracking data changes will soon become an impossible task.
  • Low security: spreadsheets that are scattered across a business network will have very low-security levels of protection as it will depend on individual settings and preferences. While some users may be security-conscious, a worrying number of them will usually end up putting their data at risk simply because they choose to ignore basic online safety and security rules.
  • Inability to collaborate on projects: collaborating on projects, while using spreadsheets, is a real pain. Although cloud services like Google Sheets do allow for some leeway where multiple users can access the same spreadsheet, it is still a tough job tracking who has done what and whether it was an intentional change or an error. In Sheets, for example, admins would have to scroll through various versions of the document to spot exactly who did what – a task that would be daunting if dozens of people have made numerous changes over a long period of time.
  • Difficulty in avoiding data replication: when every user that is allowed to access a workbook can enter data into it, chances are, there will be more than one versions of the same bit of data. Over time, these replicated bits of data will grow to enormous sizes that will take up space, slow down data read-write speeds, and result in erroneous information.
  • Data integrity will always be a problem: when there is no validation in place to ensure that the data entered is in the correct format, there is no guarantee that the information captured is even consumable let alone accurate.
  • Interlinking data is always a risk: cross-referencing, and creating relationships between, datasets in different worksheets and workbooks becomes a nightmare. As linked data is changed, deleted or even moved from its directory, it will have a ripple effect that will result in loss or error in the compiled/generated information located somewhere else.
  • As files bloat they start to underperform: as spreadsheet files become bulkier and, hence, sluggish, the data contained within becomes harder to access. This affects overall performance as the speed of data input and output deteriorates.
  • Misinformation galore: spreadsheet queries and reports – if you can execute or extract them at all – will never be as concise or reliable as those which are run on online relational databases. The management staff that needs to make decisions based on these unreliable sources of information will (quite understandably) be a little nervous.

As can be understood clearly, all these shortcomings add up to create a bottleneck the businesses data and information flow will have to painfully navigate through. No one will be able to make timely decisions for fear that they will be based on out-of-date or incomplete data and information.

What Data Storage Options are out There?

Today, businesses are lucky to have a myriad of online database solutions to opt for when they decide to go for an upgrade. These solutions are provided as two major services:

  • Remote data storage
    • Some businesses might only need to store data remotely; they intend to use the remote machines as a place where they save and retrieve data. Any consumption or modification of the data is done by either downloading it to local machines first or, directly on the remote storage devices – but by using applications that are run on local machines. Some popular companies that offer this type remote data storage service include the likes of Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, and Box.
  • Remote data server
    • Other businesses, meanwhile, would want to have their applications and services being hosted or run remotely in addition to having their data stored on remote servers.
    • The businesses behind such requests are usually SMBs that are still growing but need to make the jump to the next milestone by taking advantage of the latest technology. But, since they are still growing, they would rather focus on their core business processes rather than have to deal with running an IT department and bearing all its costs.
    • By outsourcing their applications and data, SMBs manage to remain mean and lean competitors in their respective fields of trade. This, thus, makes remote server and SaaS (Software as a Service) service providers like SiteGround, HostGator, and LiquidWeb critical in supporting a budding business’ data/application migration and implementation.

And, then, there is Kohezion – a remote data server company in a league of its own.

Kohezion – Your Database Best Friend as You Scale Up

Kohezion online database software homepage

Kohezion online database software has a free trial for all

Kohezion is a company that offers businesses like yours a chance to experience what it feels like to manage your own IT department – complete with application developers at the fore, servers in the back, and everything else in between – without actually getting involved in the whole process. Many of their clients also find it quite surprising that the company proves that first-class service doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

“Kohezion’s price point and feature set were bang on – and their support staff continue to surprise me with new features that help me automate my work,” says Jim Mall, Founder of Senior Insurance Solutions.

When you sign up for free with Kohezion, your data process’ evolution starts with a thorough analysis of your business’ requirements, done by their experts. Once the analysis has been completed the results help build a customized app your business can fully utilize – from end to end.

“I looked at… other CRs, and while they’re powerful, I felt like they were charging me for more features I’d ever use,” Mall says.

In his case, after he decided to go with Kohezion, it took just 10 days to go from his signing a contract to testing the beta version of a custom application (and data storage) that would eventually help his 80 agents stay connected and updated while on the go as they served over 20,000 clients.

Mall says his firm, which helps low-income seniors find affordable insurances, has already managed to save $46,000 per year by avoiding redundant software and document storage fees.

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