BOOKCASE : Make Your Database a Goldmine

• Debbie Mayo-Smith
• Penguin
• RRP $40, e-book $20

I feel as though I learnt some new things about Excel through reading Debbie Mayo-Smith’s new book – and that was bit of surprise. In fact, it seemed bit weird to be reading through an Excel tutorial rather than guide on how to make database work for you, given the name of the book is Make Your Database Goldmine.
Given the title, I wonder if promoting housing your database purely in Excel is the right message? Certainly this option may be fine in some situations and for some companies, but those of us in the business could tell you Excel isn’t the only option, nor is it the best option for everyone.
That said, this book could be good training tool for the uninitiated, especially small business owners who would appreciate the ‘self-help’ style tips. The screen-grabs are good aid to help readers understand the practicalities.
However, I found the read bit clunky. Mayo-Smith zips around between case studies, then screen-grabs, without much cohesion or flow, so I found it best to treat the book like tips and reference-style manual you’d dip into, rather than something you’d read voraciously from cover to cover.
However, she has some good ideas to customise the tools to how you want to use them, which should really enable readers to streamline tasks, and maximise efficiency. • Sonya Crosby, general manager of Datamine

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