2 Replies - 1261 Views - Last Post: 26 August 2015 - 10:28 AM

#1 Skydiver  Icon User is offline

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Convincing people to change data containers

Posted 26 August 2015 - 09:22 AM

I just wanted to try to see what other people experience with regards to convincing people to change data containers.

It's relatively easy to convince people to stop using a text file or a Word document to store data and start using a spreadsheet, Excel, or Access. It's not too hard to convince them of the use of source control to make snapshots of their data and perhaps share it while tracking changes. What I'm seeing though, is that it is hard to convince people that their data has gotten so big, and/or collaboration they want, or the analysis that they want to do with their data really indicates that it is time to move it into a real database like SQL (or perhaps a SharePoint).

I know that human nature naturally resists change, but what is major resistance to making that last step? Is it the loss of control? Is it the idea that any changes they do in the data is now public almost instantly?

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Replies To: Convincing people to change data containers

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Convincing people to change data containers

Posted 26 August 2015 - 09:36 AM

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major resistance to making that last step?


I believe a large part is the 'who moved my cheese' factor. People are unable to investigate, or lack clear documentation, on how to translate their current process into this new frontier. Everything is new, unfamiliar, and a dangerous. It would be worth the time to stop, document how/what is currently being used and then specifically find the analogous option on the new route. if that means listing out the steps they currently take and having a side by side comparison that helps. Also budget time for the 'transition'. Be there, and be encouraging.

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Is it the loss of control?

In some cases, yes. In a past life I may have helped transition an audit-ish group off of an Access life style and into a more secure, backed up, and controlled MSSQL environment. These folk had one or two USB sticks that had weekly rotational changes on who is burdened with making sure _nothing_ happened to the Access backups on them. Once that was explained that won't be needed and proper security was in place to prevent folks from just eyeballing their data it went a long distance to helping folks bridge the change gap.
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#3 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Convincing people to change data containers

Posted 26 August 2015 - 10:28 AM

I've seen Excel users write memos in and form letters in their beloved app. If the file gets too large, they are ever willing to just break it up rather than desert Excel. If it is a question of data, you need only give an Excel user a way to convert any given dataset to Excel and they're happy.

Access, now, that's a big ugly. "But, I have a database!" No, you have a toy and it doesn't play well with others.

Like Excel users, Access users love their application with its GUI query designers and kludgey forms. The best solution for this is to set up a SQL Server database, migrate all the data to that, and then just make links to it in the Access "application." Now the problem of data size, backups, and user reticence is mostly solved. Sometimes, you can even start offering alternate views to the data now that it's available in the enterprise. This will often ween the casual users, but the hard liners will never leave willingly.
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