Microsoft Database Consolidation
The detailed information your organization collects can be absolutely invaluable when it comes to making critical operational decisions as well as long-term financial predictions, but only if it is organized in such a way that it can be efficiently accessed, analyzed, and put to good use. Enter Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure. Our team of well skilled data scientists can take your BIG data and make sense of it by building Microsoft databases you can use to run your operations.
How to Use Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Azure to Improve Workflow Efficiency
Information can be absolutely invaluable, but only if it is organized such that it can be accessed, analyzed, and put to good use. The garbage in, garbage out principal applies here. But take it one step further, if you have quality data, but if you manipulate it incorrectly, you have inaccurate results and misleading/deceiving data.
The key data you’ve collected from your partners, suppliers, customers, and prospects is in many ways the lifeblood of your business, giving you the tools you need to succeed. However, if your databases are too dispersed and disorganized, they may be effectively defunct. If John Doe’s purchase history is in one of your 37 databases, and accessible only if you use the exact right search terms, it might as well not be there at all. Especially in a fast-paced business environment, executives might create databases on the fly, organizing their information in a way that makes sense in the moment, but may cause more trouble than it’s worth in the long term. Just like piles of paper sitting around your office would make for an unproductive workspace, jumbled databases aren’t conducive to success.
If you’re dealing with disorderly databases, don’t worry—Excel Consultant is here to help you sort them out. For more than two decades, our dedicated team of Microsoft mavens has been streamlining systems to help companies succeed. Our highly capable crew includes a Microsoft Certified Partner and multiple Microsoft Valued Professionals, putting our consultancy at an elite echelon of Microsoft expertise. In the following blog, we cover how we use Microsoft SQL Server and Access to improve efficiency through database consolidation.
Managing Data with Microsoft
When you think of Microsoft, you probably imagine typing a letter on Word, making a spreadsheet with Excel, or sending an email with Outlook. However, there is an entire world of Microsoft applications beyond these. In order to help our clients consolidate and better use their databases, we use two Microsoft DBMSes, or database management systems: Access and SQL Server.
Access is a slightly simpler, smaller, more user-friendly application that anyone could use to design a very basic database with a straightforward graphical user interface. Programmers who know more advanced code can also leverage Access to design sophisticated systems and author new applications. Access is an amazingly versatile tool, but it isn’t without its limitations. Specifically, this program is designed for a desktop environment, so it might become strained when attempting to run vast databases for dozens or hundreds of users.
If your company expands, your data demands might just be too much for Access. Fortunately, Microsoft has a solution for that—SQL Server is stronger and sturdier. It’s built to handle large enterprises and detailed websites accessed by thousands of users. Since it was developed for more complex, widespread use, SQL Server also comes with a wide array of features Access lacks. It includes security functions, data transfer capabilities, scheduling systems, special alert programs, and more.
Both Access and SQL Server are pivotal tools when it comes to consolidating your databases and making the most of the information at your company’s disposal. The Excel Consultant team knows how to select and integrate them to deliver outstanding outcomes for our clients.
What Can You Do with Microsoft SQL Server and Access?
Now that you know what exactly Access and SQL Server are, you might be wondering what you can do with these programs. With the Excel Consultant team at your service, the answer is “virtually anything.” Using these sophisticated systems, we could:
- Organize your files better
- Optimize your data access and retrieval systems
- Create one or more customized databases for your business’s needs
- Allow your other software programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) to interoperate (work together and share information) better
- Create applications to generate automatic reports
- Mail merge your customer, partner, and/or prospect information (transfer names and address information from a database to be used in personalized mailings for promotion, billing, etc.)
- And much more!
Most if not all companies could benefit from database consolidation and more with Access, SQL Server, or both. Excel Consultant can help you determine which functions would be appropriate to boost your business.
Case Study: Honda North American Finance
Our team is very familiar with database consolidation projects. We recently took on a massive project for the automotive manufacturer Honda’s North American Finance division. Our Access and SQL Server experts relish a challenge, and that’s exactly what they got. The North American Finance division is responsible for the entirety of the region’s sales, meaning they manage thousands of accounts on a daily basis. Unfortunately, as is often the case, they had created over a hundred smaller databases to handle this influx of information, which only made the problem worse. Furthermore, these databases were spread across different desktops and servers, with only one key employee knowing how to use all of them. One of the key mistakes the North American Finance division made with their databases was using the wrong program—its employees had stored their thousands of files with Access when SQL Server actually would have been much more fitting.
This database debacle had been an ongoing problem, but it needed to be resolved right away when Honda made the transition to an enterprise-wide BI, or business intelligence, system. BI involves customized advanced data mining, processing and report writing through the use of multiple integrated applications and software programs. Obviously, implementing such a sophisticated information analysis system in the midst of such computerized chaos would have been impossible, so Honda brought our team in to sort out the North American Finance division databases.
Since it was such a behemoth of a project, one of our Microsoft experts led a team of 25 programmers (as well as between 50 and 100 additional staff working on the assignment). We painstakingly pulled every piece of information from the dozens of databases the North American Finance division had amassed. Next, we had to convert and refine the files using an advanced application called Monarch before consolidating them on several SQL Servers. Our team worked 60 hours a week for nine months to complete this project, at times operating as many as four separate computers simultaneously to get the job done. Ultimately, we helped Honda make the switch to a much simpler, more successful database layout and BI system. This undoubtedly helps the company (and particularly the North American Finance division) function better every day.
This case study highlights two key points. First of all, that mismanaging your databases can lead to quite the tangle, so it’s best to work with experts and establish your systems correctly from the start. Second of all, that the Excel Consultant team is capable of solving even the most intricate, seemingly impossible, consolidation conundrums.
The Importance of Consolidation
As the above teaches us, consolidation is key. With a simple, streamlined database that keeps key information in one place, you can retrieve and utilize the data you need without wasting time and money or dealing with unnecessary hassle. This allows your staff to work more productively, bolstering your business.
Is it Time for You to Consolidate?
Are you struggling with scattered databases? Do you have trouble finding the information you need, even though you know it’s there? Database consolidation could be the right answer. Contact Excel Consultant today to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment with one of our Microsoft masters.
Call us now and get started today 877-392-3539