Why Bringing Data Online Is Better For Business
If you haven’t read the post 6 Reasons to Move Your Data Online Now! – on how to facilitate communication, collaboration and productivity via an online database – it’s not too late to download the whitepaper and dig deeper into some of the reasons why businesses may want to consider moving their data online. Today, I’ll be sharing with you how and why Formation Healthcare recently migrated their data from MS Access to QuickBase, Intuit’s online database solution.
Assessing, analyzing and monitoring quality of regulatory measures in the nursing home industry is a process that Formation Healthcare knows well. They rely on surveys and certification processes to identify potential risks and currently monitor those risks for the lenders, investors and owners of 300 plus nursing homes across the country. As the company has grown, the spreadsheets they once used to manage this process and information were replaced with a flat database. Debra Rollins, Database Manager at Formation Healthcare, explained this flat database was eventually replaced with a complex, web-enabled ODBC database which served their information needs until that solution also recently became too limiting for the changing needs of Formation Healthcare, Debra and the team.
With 5 remote employees and 8 remote operators needing access to up to date reporting – Debra found that even though her MS Access database was web-enabled – she was still sending the team a new database app every time queries and reports were updated. Additionally, when sharing the reports/queries, there was a certain degree of risk involved in the process. Trissie Farr, VP of Formation Healthcare stated, “We wanted to protect the mechanics of our queries and formulas and with MS Access, we found that we had potential risk for ‘pirating’, utilizing that platform.” Debra further explained that even though the ODBC Access database was password protected and each form had additional read only / edit security, Access does not allow security for the modules which contain the security coding itself. Being in such a highly regulated industry, information accessibility and security were two important factors for Formation Healthcare.
So the search began for a secure, yet easily-accessible online database. Most of the solutions that Debra evaluated required her to convert her Access database data into a spreadsheet (csv. document) and then import it into the new system. For a simple application, that may have worked; but Debra’s application consisted of 30 plus tables and 17 relationships, with 11 of those relationships in one table. She simply didn’t have that kind of time to do it herself, so she kept looking. When evaluating QuickBase, she learned that Intuit offers an Access to QuickBase migration service* that did exactly what she was looking for. The Access to QuickBase migration took approximately 4-5 hours and was conducted by one of Intuit’s QuickBase Business Consultants. Since then, Debra and Trissie are becoming big fans of QuickBase – realizing the sheer power of QuickBase they are excited to continue customizing it and rolling it out to the rest of their organization.
My favorite quote from Debra was that “QuickBase has an extremely easy UI (user interface); however, it is truly deceiving and really is much more powerful than it initially appears. It’s like going from driving a Yugo to driving a Maserati! QuickBase is the Maserati!”