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Paper spreadsheets and files only work for the smallest of business. When your business becomes too large to maintain paper records in any sort of effective fashion, it's time to hire a database design service.
A database stores and manages all of your company's important information in one place. It can be used to compare sets of data and create customized reports. For example, a database could be used to come up with a list of customers who haven't done business with you in the last six months. That list could be used to create a targeted marketing campaign, enticing former customers to come back.
A database can also be used to:
- Record and manage customer information
- Generate sales lists
- Track product inventory and sales
About Database Design
The first step in designing a database is sitting down with a developer to talk about your needs and expectations. Before you do that, however, you need to have an idea of what you want the database to accomplish. Sit down with your staff and figure out:
- Why do you need the database and what do you want it to do?
- Who will have access to the database?
- Who will update and maintain the database after the development work is complete?
After the initial consultation, the developer will come up with a document describing how the database will function. It is critical that you read the document closely in order to decide if the proposal is in line with your expectations. Once the database has been built, it's too late to change your mind.
Database Design Service Average Costs
Smaller businesses with simpler needs can use desktop database systems such as Microsoft Access, which only cost a few hundred dollars. Larger companies with more complex needs will require enterprise level systems such as Oracle or Microsoft SQL.
Most of the cost will come from the design work. The process can take months and most designers bill in the range of $50 to $250 per hour. Small business can expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 for database design, while larger companies might spend anywhere from $10,000 to half a million dollars.
Although database design is expensive, it's also an investment into the future of your company. A well-designed database will help you keep organized for years to come. It will also protect and preserve your company's valuable information.