There’s a common joke in the business world that goes along the lines of “the entire world runs on Excel”. And while it always gets a few chuckles out of those hearing it, there is a frightening degree of truth to that phrase so much that the situation has become quite bad for some businesses, which rely on Microsoft’s spreadsheet solution or something equivalent to extreme degrees.
Sure, when you look at it in a certain way, Excel does act like a database in many aspects. But it’s not meant to be used as one and definitely doesn’t perform as well as a more specialized solution in heavier cases.
On the other hand, it does have the benefit of bringing simplicity to the table, allowing pretty much any member of the company to contribute to the collection of information and development of internal processes. But this should not be a reason to limit the whole organization to Excel, certainly not when you have better alternatives available.
FileMaker is a good middle ground
FileMaker is a relational database solution that aims to make the process of working with a “real” database easier and more streamlined by adding a nice graphical interface layer on top of it. While it takes a while to get used to, and it’s certainly more complicated than Excel once you dig deep beneath its surface, it’s often a much more optimal solution for those who want a good balance between productivity, features, and simplicity.
One of the strong aspects of FileMaker is that it can be easy to develop a custom interface for your internal databases, complete with custom control elements that can allow for the input of various kinds of information with a reduced error rate. The capabilities of FileMaker in this regard are miles above what Excel could ever offer you, and learning to use it should be your top priority if your organization still relies on Excel to a large extent.