Flat-File (Spreadsheet style) versus Relational Databases

I see the question coming up more and more of when to switch from something like Excel to something more like Access or a more fully fledged database server like MS SQL Server for data storage. So, here are a few things I find useful to consider when deciding between a relational database (RDB) driven versus a spreadsheet driven tracker:

thought for the day: the story of data

Data are like words. Alone, their meanings are muted and confusing. Strung together, data points become information. Like a free standing sentence, information on its own can be misleading. Information combined with more information creates knowledge, the paragraphs where you start to understand what those strung together “words” really mean. And when knowledges collide, you get wisdom, the big picture, the fulcrum and the pivot point through which you can move worlds.

My former colleges and I, when I worked as a Data Specialist, were tasked with making sense of what a “Data Specialist” actually did in the company. I don’t remember who first came up with the idea of equating data and words, but it’s stuck with me. The thought above is my own phrasing, and I’ll likely keep changing the wording, but the essentials I think have developed pretty well.