Spreadsheets are great for dealing with small amounts of data, but as you acquire more and more data, you may need more efficient data management tools, and this is where databases come in.
Databases have become essential instruments in dealing with digital processes in any business today. They are used to store, organise and analyse large amounts of data on your customers, staff, accounts and inventory within a single software application.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider creating your own database.
Centralisation. Databases can help you manage your business’ growing amounts of critical data centrally, precisely and securely. Centralising information also structures data and prevents duplication, which saves space and allows you to work better and faster ultimately increasing your overall productivity. Above this, the maintenance of digitised information is also easier and more economical.
Access. Storing information in your database means it can be accessed quickly and easily, which can improve your customer service. Different parts of a database can be defined to limit access to certain data for certain users to guarantee its confidentiality. However, databases also allow for common information to be shared across locations and departments.
Human resources. Staff records can be managed in an HR database, which can save you time and money. Such systems can be designed to automatise routine jobs, speed up data processing related to work hours, leave, payroll and benefits.
Customer relationship management. CRM databases should really be at the heart of your customer-centric business and its growth plans. They can be powerful in processing everything from customer contact details, booking history and accounts to their social media usage and prospective business opportunities. They can be used to inform and track marketing campaigns, for example through newsletter subscription data. After all, your efforts and resources spent on creative marketing campaigns can be useless if you don’t know which customers you are targeting exactly. Customer segmentation is probably the most beneficial aspect of CRM databases as it allows you to perform tailored personalised marketing activities.
Inventory management. Tracking inventory is a crucial part of any business to avoid customer disappointment, loss of business and damaging your reputation. Digitising inventory data can minimise the chance of human error likely to occur if managed manually.
Growth strategy. Databases usually have reporting capabilities related to the analysis of productivity and anticipating future trends and consumer needs.
© Edinburgh Napier University