Web Design & Development
The Delegation of a Database
Here are some steps towards managing your information effectively. The overall objective would be to delegate the creation of a database.
You need to find a certain person who has good communication skills and is able to design a custom database application tailored to your needs.
The best place to find this person is at a local user group meeting. To find this group, check around a few computer stores that sell the type of computer that you use until you find one that strikes you as particularly customer service oriented. The staff at this store should know where a local user group meeting is and perhaps someone to call about that. Also, user group meetings are advertised in local newspapers and community activities bulletins.
When you find the group, attend a meeting and observe who the helpful and knowledgeable people are. This person may be who you're looking for or may know another person who would be right for you.
Once you have located someone who you feel can help you, have a meeting with them and discuss what your needs are. Ask to see an example of this person's previous database work and evaluate the "look and feel" of the product.
If you are satisfied so far, you need to develop a "field list". This means a list of all the "slots" that you want to store information in. For example that might be: First Name, Last name, Address, Contact Date and so on. Try to think of every little detail that you want to track about your way of doing business. Your consultant should have experience in interviewing you towards developing this field list.
When the field list is developed, you need to design the input form. This means a computer screen that shows all the fields that you need to enter data into, arranged in a logical order determined by the way you work.
When the input field is designed, you will be able to have all your data entered by an assistant.
Next, the output side of the database needs to be designed. This means all the reports that you want to see from this data such as daily contact lists sorted by data of initial contact, or available properties sorted by price or location. It's all up to you.
Overall, your deal with the consultant should cover development, "tuning up" to your requirements, training for you and your staff, and a monthly check up.
If all goes well, you'll have a custom database designed around the way that you are accustomed to working. This tool will provide you with many new ways of looking at the details of your business and should prove to be a valuable asset.
Once you are using a database, it becomes very critical to backup your data so it is never lost. This means copying the data to another storage device at regular intervals. The data is worth much more than the computer that it resides in.