Collect, manage and share

Sharing existing data has proved to be a solid foundation for a fast and simple business start. It’s logical that, if you have the information people need, you can use its potential and make some profit based on information sharing.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs usually use Excel to store these data. Sometimes, those who are more familiar with databases use Microsoft Access, and very few use more advanced databases like MSSQL, MySQL or something else.

One could use previously collected information such as information on construction projects in the area, upcoming festivals, member lists, car or motorcycle dealers, service garages, hotels in the area, car part lists and more.

So, basically, in order to start a new business based on some data you need to have information already collected. Right?

Wrong. Many businesses started with very limited information on any subject. Also, many data are not permanent, so they have to be populated frequently or at least periodically. For example, if you need a list of all Mountain Rescue Service members that is relatively consistent database and only a few new members will be added annually. Someone will maybe change the phone number or e-mail address.

On the other hand, real-estate database for selling and renting real-estate properties is changing so rapidly that you need to populate some data entry almost every day. One can personally populate data or can allow members of the network (property owners or employees or both) to flag some property as sold or rented, to change the price or add additional information.

So the question is what do you need to complete the whole idea?

You need something to collect data online, then you need an administration system to manage data and finally you need to share information with potential clients.

Collecting data can be done by e-mail but that is the most inefficient and absolutely the worst possible way to collect data since one would have to copy / paste all the information to the database. The right way is adding data directly to the database. With dbBee you can use collect data wizard that will add data to your Excel sheet or Access database simple and easy. With dbBee CD (Collect Data) wizard one can create quite complex forms by adding drop down boxes with predefined options, option buttons and check boxes. Ability to collect even files such as PDF or Microsoft Word is also very important and adding pictures is also supported.

Now when we have collected all the data about some property, we should review them. Sometimes people simply download the database from the internet, review it, delete wrong entries, add or fix some information and, later on, bring back populated database to the server in order to make it visible to the clients. Is there an easier way? There is and it’s called administration system, or administration pages.

With dbBee Administration wizard (A) one can access to that same database and do everything needed without downloading and uploading database. Why is this important? Because you can access password protected administration from any place at any time, which is not that simple when you need to download database. Also, to update through administration pages you don’t need Excel or Access, actually you don’t need anything but your browser (Firefox, Chrome, IE, etc.)

The final step is making your database visible and, the most important, searchable to potential clients (someone who will rent or buy some property). This is, sometimes, the most complex part depending on what we actually wish to achieve. If we have a database with fewer columns, like for example, name, surname, address, phone number and position we can easily put all these data on screen in the form of a table. For simple databases like this, one should use dbBee Query and browse wizard (QB). But if we have tens of various data fields, displaying them as a single table on screen is if not impossible, then completely impractical.

Actually, we could have one very wide page with horizontal scroll bar but that is neither simple to use nor beautiful. So, how do we solve such an issue? Well, for larger databases that contain allot of data in a single row we should use dbBee’s Query, browse, detail wizard that will create set of two modules, one containing smaller table with few most important and identifying fields and the rest of the information will be accessible through detail section upon click to some of the data rows. Detail section is oriented vertically (so called columnar report) so it can contain much more data, pictures etc.

As you can see, by using dbBee wizards we can create an entire business solution that includes collecting, managing and presenting the data.