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Hi :)
I think all these tools require skill and experience.  It's easiest to keep using the tool you have 
most skills and experience in but at the same time it is a good idea to try to build-up experience 
with other tools.  

If Andreas was working with your data then a database-program would be better and faster.  If you 
had his level of skill and experience with Base and your level with Calc/Excel then you would 
probably find that Base was far, far easier and faster than Calc/Excel for this particular task.  
It's beyond the scope of this list to set-up a database for you but i suspect that if Andreas or 
Alex or someone did then you would find that easier to work with than the spreadsheet system you 
are using at the moment.  

Something i would quite like to see at some point in the future is people on this list getting paid 
work on a consultancy basis for odd one-off tasks, perhaps not even at such high rates as 
consultants might normally get.  There are huge philosophical and practical problems around that 
sort of thing though even though it's allowed within the scope of the GPL and MPL license 

If someone approached me off-list i would feel obliged to point them towards someone with more 
skill and knowledge such as Jay, Regina, Dan and the plethora of other people we see giving great 
answers week in week out.  If the request was made on-list then i thik we could figure out who 
would be best for a particular task, given time constraints and personal work-loads.  

Regards from
Tom :)  

Sent: Wednesday, 12 September 2012, 7:00
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Re: Was Re: Date will not format or sort when imported into calc 
(ods) - Databases vs Spreadsheets

My research has convinced me that I do not have neither the time nor the
resources to set up and maintain a database. I might consider it if all of
the data were received in the same layout, but the layout is as varied as
are the sources. Since I am the only one that is using the data, a
spreadsheet serves me best as I am able to freely add, delete, and modify
the layout, format, calculations, etc. Something a for which a database has
never been designed.

If I had many collaborators to work on the project, perhaps a database may
be of more use, but since I do not, I do not need the added headache of
trying to setup and maintain an additional level of complexity.

This is the conclusion I have drawn based upon the available documentation
on the internet and conversations with people that have worked with their
company's database. They all say it does not work until the processes are
resolved to the point that they need not change. One person explained the
problems that occurred when their processes did require a major
modification. After weeks of attempting to make the required modifications,
it was decided to set up another database. Then they went through months of
consultation and headache to get the essential data transferred from the old
database into the new one.

A database is a good tool to keep track of large amounts of data and
tracking processes, but unless it is a big company that has unchanging
processes, a database may be more of a liability than a help. With my data
constantly evolving, a database would need to be modified on a regular basis
and I am unwilling to invest the extra time to do so. All my data fits on a
spreadsheet and is easily modified as the sources are added or deleted as
each source has a different idea as to how the data should be presented.

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