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Database or Spreadsheet?

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  • Database or Spreadsheet?

    Having used Excel Spreadsheet in my professional career (retired 2011) in what circumstances is it more appropriate and productive to use a database instead ? The phrase "horses for courses" comes to mind

  • #2
    This is a universal question.
    Databases and spreadsheets are often referred to interchangeably—but they’re far from the same. Picking the right one for your needs requires some context on how (and why) they differ.

    Databases and spreadsheets are fundamentally different tools. But too often, they’re thought of as one and the same.

    Learning the nuances of both databases and spreadsheets is the key to unlocking their respective superpowers. And that starts with understanding their differences.

    Spreadsheets, on one hand, are a tool most of us are familiar with—and for good reason. They are, after all, wonderful, accessible, and ubiquitous tools. So when it comes time to crunch numbers, balance a budget, or even organize information, reaching for them is second nature.

    But useful as they are, spreadsheets aren’t the best tool for every use case. Limitations like duplicate data and one-size-fits all views make them tough to use for more complex use cases. Consider uses cases like content calendars, inventory management systems, and the like. When you’re tackling those uses, a database offers significantly more flexibility and power.

    Today, with the right tools, anyone who can use a spreadsheet can use a database. Understanding the differences will empower you to make the right choice for your unique use case.