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Excel 1 : Databases 0 - SME addicted to Excel! Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2013 7:55 AM


SSChasing Mays

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Hi folks,
I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall so figured I'd ask for some sage advice!

My company currently employs around 180 people in the UK (including field sales staff) and we've just expanded to a bigger premises while increasing productivity and recruitment. The problem I have is the senior managers still have a small business mentality and although I've mentioned it on a number of occasions are still using Excel as a data store (in particular HR data) and aren't concerned as the spreadsheets are 'password protected'!!!!!

To my mind this is mad and we need to 'grow up' and start using databases to store the data especially the sensitive data relating to HR (ideally a SQL Server solution or I'd be out of a job!).

How would you recommend I go about changing their minds and are there any decent (ideally free/open source) HR solutions with SQL back-ends that we could use?

Many thanks for your help in advance.



MCITP
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Twitter: WWDMark

Try not! Do or do not, there is no try

email: info@weekendwebdesign.co.uk
Personal Website: www.markallen-online.co.uk
Business Website: www.weekendwebdesign.co.uk
Post #1450151
Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:18 AM
Grasshopper

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Hi WWDMark,

That seems to be quite a common problem from what I've seen in busines, Excel is just so convenient for most users since is is more WYSIWYG than most other solutions, and although I love Excel very much, it isn't always the best solution for departments to use as data storage, which has absolutely nothing to do with Excel, because it is such an awesome tool, but because it is so easy to do record keeping with it, and because it is part of the Microsoft Office package, every second person with no knowledge of how to use it creates some spreadsheet, containing some (normally very sensitive) information, and as easy as it is for users to create a spreadsheet with some information on, it is just as easy for them to destroy it by sorting a column without extending to other columns, and all kinds of other unique things that they can come up with on a daily basis.

I've had to deal with similar situations in the past, and the only one which seems to work is that you will have to (in your own time) do a proof of concept, showing them all the cool things that you can do with a database based system, things like multiple people working on the same data at the same time (I know Excel has shared workbook functionality, but again, users seem to find exceptional ways of killing it too), but be careful, because if you are the brain behind the wonderful new system, you are the one doing the support on it, and you will always be that person,

No ideas on a freeware HR solution, there you have to think a lot around security, and as soon as reputable security comes in, so does a price tag...

Kind regards
Post #1450170
Posted Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:19 AM


SSC Veteran

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I would try to convince them by showing them a good/better application (that uses SQL server as a back-end of course).

I can't really help you to find a good product but the business will respond quicker to a full solution than you being worried about some weird stuff that will obviously never happen (devil's advocate).
Post #1450173
Posted Wednesday, May 8, 2013 3:06 AM


SSChasing Mays

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Thanks for the replies guys, I've now managed to get our HR Managers buy-in and am starting to put together a business case for a 'proper' HR system potentially using SelectHR or a similar organisation.
Many thanks again.
M



MCITP
MCTS - E-Business Card
Twitter: WWDMark

Try not! Do or do not, there is no try

email: info@weekendwebdesign.co.uk
Personal Website: www.markallen-online.co.uk
Business Website: www.weekendwebdesign.co.uk
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