Recently my mom and I spent hours going through 2 cabinets full of my parents’ files. I was impressed how organized and neatly labeled my now-3-years-deceased dad kept their paperwork. As we separated the papers into recycle, garbage, and shred, I kept thinking about how we store our electronic data. In most cases, the reason I find going through company’s databases daunting is when it is poorly structured, with fields and files added randomly, with no documentation.
As we searched through old bills, letters, photos, manufacturing instructions, and unused credit cards, I realize there are many similarities in how we set up and store our paper and electronic files. Here are 5 ideas to think about when you create a database—or suggestions for how you can better manage an existing database.
Once you create your database, be sure it is managed on a regular basis. You might even find some hidden pockets of data that you can monetize; when we went through those old files, we found some stamps and unused gift certificates that can be redeemed.
If you currently have a database, it’s not too late! You can re-organize, make changes to better organize data and future additions, or add data to your system to fill in gaps.
The journey continues–Cindy