Databases How We Love to Hate Them!
You’ve finally created databases that you can actually use to store and manipulate all your critical data. That’s great news and quite an accomplishment. But in your rush to get your employees to start entering information into these databases, you skipped the training process and let them go at it alone.
That was not such a good decision, but one you did not care about until you decided to tackle your first mail merge. Instead of getting what you expected to get, you got all variations of address and telephone number formats, an incredible and astounding assortment of confusingly mixed usage of upper and lower case characters and fields with unusual amounts of white space that you’ve finally figured out is due to excessive use of the space bar. The data looks cluttered, inconsistent, and worst of all, unprofessional.
You don’t have time to go back into every record and manually fix these annoying inconsistencies, nor do you want to pay your staff to do this when they have so many other things to do. But you’ve got to get your promotion going so money can start arriving in your business checking account. Now what do you do?
There is a way you can go in and clean up these types of data messes and it won’t involve firing the employees who caused the problems in the first place! Nor will you have to become proficient at database programming. As with any good business problem, there’s a software solution available that you can use instead.
It’s called DataPipe and it will clean up these and other types of database errors faster and less expensively than you can do it manually or by using other software tools. It does not matter which standard ODBC or OLE DB you are using. Just use its drivers to connect to DataPipe. From there, it’s a matter of selecting the database and query or table you need to work on. Then sit back and watch as it works its magic in record time.
Even if you use packaged customer relationship management software at your business – products like Goldmine, ACT!, Epiphany and others – you still can use DataPipe.
DataPipe uses basic search and replace functions to tweak the text that is stored in your databases. Whether you know exactly the text you want modified, want to modify text that sounds like something specific, want to search for wildcards or particular patterns, or want to use fuzzy logic to help find typos, your data will benefit when you use DataPipe.
And best of all, you won’t have to contact your programmer and negotiate a costly change order when you need to use a different format for your date fields, or when you need to swap the order of last and first names. But you can if this is what you need. You or your programmer can create custom filters using industry standard scripting languages.
DataPipe requires Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP or 2003, a hard disk with 15 MB free disk space and 64 MB RAM. It also requires SQL Server, Access, Informix, Sybase, DB2, Oracle, MySQL, DBF, FoxPro, FileMaker Pro, Excel Spreadsheets or any OLE DB/ODBC compliant database.
Isn’t it time your data look and feel more consistent, more professional, and perhaps even more impressive? When you run a business, you need all the help you can get. And in today’s competitive business climate, first impressions make the biggest impression. And unfortunately, sometimes first impressions are the key “make or break” determining factor. So make sure your first impressions count.
Cavyl Stewart is the author of “135 Hot Tech Tips for Small
Business Owners.” To Download your free copy, just visit: