A well-known London Executive Search business decided it needed to improve its consultant database. Each week the finance team was having to spend significant time collating spreadsheets, checking input errors, and cutting & pasting into a different spreadsheet. The process was viewed as somewhat of a nightmare. Too many mistakes, too many different names in the database, too much time spent cutting & pasting. In all honesty, there was nothing much different there to the experience of many businesses.
The Crosstech Partners' project manager visit revealed that it was a fairly easy fix for the Crosstech team. The existing excel spreadsheets really needed to be replaced by a small database system. The question was, should it be a web-based system, or something like MS Access. The decision was to proto-type and proof-of-concept it in MS Access. That way it would be relatively quick to deliver, would work well, and if later required, it would provide a system that could easily be migrated to another database system.
Crosstech Partners used one of its senior developers from overseas for the role. He began by working with the project manager to deliver a user interface to confirm with the client how the data would be entered by its consultants. After getting an idea of the data model, he then began building a database that matched the company's shopfront identity (ie. its website), and delivered the required functionality. For example, the database was able to deliver all the client's existing spreadsheet reports, but also new reports, such as on a temporal basis (time basis).
Here is a screenshot of an Excel spreadsheet used to prototype a userform for the company's consultants. That is, the Excel spreadsheet was created by the consultant to confirm with the finance team that this is what the consultants would be using. Once the methodology & calculations were confirmed, this formed the basis of the Access database. Thereafter, the Access database began to be developed in stages. After the end of each weekend, the client was able to view a Work in Progress folder so that they could view the result. This provided: