1. Independence or Collaboration
Are you working with a set of data points that require minimal contribution from other team members or systems? Are you the primary person responsible for managing the data points – such as gathering, contributing, manipulating, distributing and storing the data?
If you answered yes, a spreadsheet may be an appropriate solution for your project. As the primary point of authority, you are able to manipulate and store data based on your individual preferences. You are also able to disseminate that information to others.
However, if you answered no to one or both questions, a database may serve your long-term needs more appropriately. When data is being contributed by members across one or more workgroups, or even sourced from one or more systems across your business enterprise, using a database to store and manipulate the data provides more value to the entire organization.
Databases generally have the bandwidth to handle numerous data sources simultaneously. It ensures all stakeholders are presented with updates in real time, eliminating the universal concern of version control. This often leads to increased productivity as teams can progress with processes and business decisions without the need to wait for the latest version of a single document.
PRO-TIP: If your workgroup(s) have a “Master” copy that no one trusts is it really the most up-to-date version? You need a database.