If you’re playing a game of word association, and someone mentions a searchable database, your mind probably jumps to a platform like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. But there are many more options out there.
Case in point: If it includes data and the ability to conduct queries within those sets of data, you’re looking at a searchable database. For companies spanning various industries, tools that document data and build systems to create, store, and synthesize that information are priceless.
More often than not, organizations across fields like finance, medicine, and science, need to categorize and streamline sets of particular information. There are many different platforms that can create dynamic and elastic databases. These applications allow companies to analyze the choices they’ve made, discover more about their processes, and chart a path forward.
Here’s everything you need to know about searchable databases — and the best ones to use.
Consider Microsoft Excel as the trusty, longstanding companion of searchable databases. This program stores data and enables users to create hyper-specific formulas to bend and shape data, depending on their company’s needs and wants.
Excel is rather intuitive. Users can store person-to-person information, make a budget, and create visual representations of their data. Excel is often a launching point for other platforms that expand upon its functionality.
Airtable is one of the biggest players in the searchable database game — companies like Cole Haan and Netflix use its services. And, as the company itself says, its users range from cattle ranchers to filmmakers.
This hybrid database-spreadsheet management platform allows for real-time, team-wide collaboration, commenting, and editing. Airtable also provides micro-breakdowns of data, with available fields for attachments, checkboxes, and barcodes. It’s formatted for different uses, and enables users to filter and sort data for the task at hand.
Smartsheet is all about versatility. This workflow collaboration software has templates for various fields, from entertainment and hospitality to construction and finance. With Smartsheet, users can track employee onboarding, streamline calendars, and create tables and visualizations. Smartsheet also emphasizes account linking — users can import data from platforms like Salesforce and then make real-time adjustments.
For businesses with highly sensitive information, the how and where of storing data is extremely important. Enter Pitchly.
Unique among searchable databases, Pitchly can stream live data without that data ever existing on its platform. This makes it an ideal service for businesses like law firms and investment banks, which have troves of information that often double as intellectual property.
Pitchly partners with Zapier, an app integration service that provides access to a wide range of applications like Slack and PayPal.
Caspio is another searchable database that places a high priority on security. The no-frills program bridges the gap for those without much technical know-how.
Caspio’s platform comes with built-in certification protection for fields like accounting, cloud computing, and HIPAA compliance to ensure the security of company data and the safety of users. Caspio also allows users to build upon their data and create custom applications, connect to third-party apps, and choose templates to store information.
Kintone eliminates the tedium of the spreadsheet-building process. The program is great for developing company documents like expense reports, timesheets, and investment sheets.
What’s more, Kintone is compatible with cloud applications and offers custom filters as well as version control within live databases. Kintone can help companies form action plans and get in-depth insights from their data.
JotForm Tables is the newest of JotForm’s many productivity tools. Like other no-code solutions, JotForm Tables is a hybrid database-spreadsheet tool.
Users can store data in one searchable database with easy-to-use date, numeric, and text sorting features. Data from connected forms in JotForm automatically populates JotForm Tables. Users can also create tables from scratch.
JotForm Tables takes data collection a step further with its online PDF editor, which turns form responses into secure and shareable documents that help businesses work at peak efficiency.
Putting it all together
Searchable databases provide a host of services. They ensure security, so whatever sensitive information you want to store remains in house. They help integrate and analyze data to take a 360-degree look at how your company or business is structured. And, most important, they assist in setting a course forward. After all, the best way to figure out where you’re going is to remember where you’ve been.