A Closer Look between Spreadsheets and Databases

A Closer Look between Spreadsheets and Databases

Data is crucial for small and large organizations. Business managers and analysts depend on this data for methods and decisions for the firm. Spreadsheet and database possibly are the two most commonly used data storage devices.

The terms are often used interchangeably, others might not be able to tell the difference between them, but they’re far from the same. Both are very valuable, yet spreadsheets aren’t the best device because they lack a database’s adaptability and performance.

What is a spreadsheet?

A spreadsheet is a computer application that became a standard component of an office suite, and it’s like having a digital form of a paper-based accounting worksheet. The majority of businesses use spreadsheets instead of keeping paper-based accounts.

The spreadsheet includes cells, and each cell can store numeric or text information. VisiCalc was the first electronic spreadsheet, and Lotus 1-2-3 was a very popular spreadsheet before the Windows era. Today, MS Excel is the most widely used electronic spreadsheet.

What is a database?

A database is a collection of related information kept digitally. Each database stores information in tables where a user can insert, upgrade, retrieve and remove data using a Database Management System (DBMS). Additionally, a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) is a DBMS based on the relational model. A programmer can use Structured Query Language (SQL) to execute procedures or control information on the database.

What are the advantages of a database over a spreadsheet?

  • A spreadsheet enables text and numerical characters to be saved in its cells however can not handle other formats such as images and videos. On the other hand, a database can accommodate various files kept in tables and hold larger file sizes. You can also arrange information into several views and isolate subsets of data at a time.
  • You can type anything by default in a spreadsheet, which could create problems when you or a co-worker types a piece of erroneous information. In databases, you can establish parameters or conditions to validate data inputs that prompt the user concerning the invalid entry. The database offers integrity and order to the data saved in its tables.
  • You can easily share spreadsheets through links or cloud sharing. However, sharing is not as good as collaborating, and spreadsheets fail when it comes to the latter. There are many highly vouched for collaborative software for internal usage today. You can easily find a database editor like a Basedash’s easy to operate interface that allows you to develop and maintain your internal tools.
  • Spreadsheets have limited searching and filtering capability. A database can retrieve and arrange data a lot quicker through specific parameters. Today, an easy to use database editor is within everyone’s reach, and even non-programmers can utilize these tools in their work.

How relevant is a database in today’s workplace?

Database systems run well with Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Whether on a company server or cloud-based, you’ll be able to have a protected and dependable database system. A self-hosted database editor permits your system to put an application on your server, store the information in your database, and construct your own web experience.

The Need for HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the criterion for businesses that deal with protected health information (PHI). Healthcare providers must transition to digital operations; therefore, a HIPAA compliant editor is a prime choice as a healthcare database software in the healthcare sector.

Final Thoughts

There are two extensively used methods to store data electronically: a spreadsheet and a database. A spreadsheet works well for accounting tasks; it’s most likely written with accountants in mind. However, the database is used in large enterprises covering almost all sectors.

Nonetheless, the main difference is that the spreadsheet is an application designed to help organize, manage, and calculate data. While a database can do all the spreadsheet features, it does more than gather related data and organize them for easy accessibility and control.