to have talked
Placing boxes side by side
does not yet mean
sharing its contents.
Only connected data
can be supported
by software queries.
It was already a big step forward when a few years ago people realised that shared data storage could contribute significantly to improving communication.
Content Management Systems were introduced.
It is debatable whether some of the introduced functionalities really contribute to the optimisation of data storage, or whether they primarily mean additional administrative work for the users.
As long as the stored documents are indeed self-contained information, such as a product description, document versioning and also the definition of access rights certainly make sense.
Data lists, as they are often saved in Excel, are seldom self-contained.
Often information follows on from each other.
The first department defines certain basic data, later departments then add further own information.
If all data is stored in a single file, conflicts can quickly arise.
The problem of shared write access can perhaps be solved in smaller teams by putting a table “online” (provided the necessary infrastructure is available and the security concept also allows this).
But regarding the structure of such a table, there will most likely be many different opinions, depending on the work task different employees have to fulfil.
However, putting a new Excel file on a shared drive every week is definitely not a good solution.
The larger the tables become and the more different aspects are added, the more complex the situation becomes.
People are then more likely to maintain their own lists, if they are not already doing so in practice from the start anyway.
The big challenge is keeping the data in sync.
This job must be done by specialists who have the necessary knowledge of the interrelationships.
The repetitive checking of long lists from other departments is probably the most frustrating work for highly qualified employees.
It is also the most useless.
This is probably the work that is most underestimated by supervisors and is rarely included in project plans.
Employees are “there anyway”.
The idea, which also underlies the system presented here, is that the smallest atomic unit is no longer an entire file but a line in a list or, even better, a single cell.
One or even several lines from other lists can be linked so that the information is permanently together.
They can now be addressed and used from both sides.
Changed (added or deleted) information is immediately noticeable.