Online/Hosted databases: Who’s Doing It and Why?

I’ve written to you, quite a number of times about using databases in your business. Many of you, don’t be too ashamed, use Excel. Hey, it’s easy to use, fast and easy to learn. However, most of you who are using Excel should be using a database, which is ideal for holding alphanumerical data, displaying the data and inputting the data.
There’s software databases such as Microsoft Access, File Maker Pro, Alpha Software. The other type of databases you might want to consider are hosted databases such as DabbleDB, Trackvia and Intuit’s QuickBase. Google’s form tool, from it’s online spreadsheet tool is also a decent tool for very limited uses.
What types of companies are using hosted databases and how are they using them? Here’s a few of Trackvia customers below. I hope some of these companies remind you of your own business and encourage you to create your own hosted database solutions.


Customer Highway, (Richfield, OH) – Handles in-bound internet and phone leads for over 50 auto dealerships across the U.S. Excel made it difficult to mine data and run reports to monitor quality assurance across operators. Now data mining is easy and quick, and Customer Highway has expanded its online database use to include job applicant tracking and additional quality assurance grading.
Larry John Wright, Inc., (Mesa, AZ) – The advertising firm tracks vast amounts of radio and TV spots from inception to final airing and archiving. With over 23 years of ads in its archives, it was very difficult and time consuming to search for archived ads, an online database provided a solution that gives the team an extremely more efficient way to search and find information.
Meridian Resources, (Greenville, SC) – Provides outplacement and development coaching services for Fortune 500 companies. Their database system lacked flexibility and inefficient reporting until they switched to an online database. Now Meridian has a streamlined process of documenting the flow of candidates from the first client submission to the participant landing a new job.
NAI 1st Valley, (Las Cruces, NM) – The commercial real estate company needed a better data management system to track listings and client records. An online database provided a database solution that didn’t require a high level of IT knowledge, was customizable and easy to use. With an online database brokers can access property information and brochures from anywhere, no matter the time of day.
DataPush, (Oklahoma City, OK) – A leading information management services company uses an online database to help their oil & gas, and land companies track and manage the details, workflow, and document generation and storage associated with tens of thousands of parcels of land. According to some, the DataPush CEO have revolutionized data management in Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry.

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

2 thoughts on “Online/Hosted databases: Who’s Doing It and Why?

  1. Kirk Trachy

    You hit the nail on the head. Businesses that are tied to spreadsheets and proprietary applications know how restricted and limiting they are. They know they need to be more open and collaborative but they are worried about security, cost and technical know-how. What a time to be alive. SaaS and PaaS have opened up applications like this to the web. We get to see it every day. I work with Intuit QuickBase and I have become very fond of saying, “If you can say it, you can do it”. This applies to small teams of 3 or 4 just as powerfully as it applies to companies with thousands of users. The next time you are tempted to email a spreadsheet think about how dead the data is. If someone needs to update it, which version is the updated one? Do you have to send it to everyone again? Is it sensitive data? A web database is not complex, in fact check out how easy it is to import from a spreadsheet http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo0sYE9ir2M or start an application from scratch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZYasynV8lo. When you have your spreadsheet or database shared securely on the web you can update it instantly and everyone is on the same page – live.

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