I really fell in love with data when I began to explore all of the things Excel was capable of. So then, it should come as no surprise that I am very comfortable with the “Grid View” in Airtable. This is the view that looks most similar to a standard spreadsheet – with rows, columns, and their inevitable intersection.
The purpose of a good database is to store and record data. Generally, this is for the purpose of improving workflows through data analysis.
It’s interesting then, since analysis is the end goal, that most databases aren’t built with that end goal in mind.
This morning, I met with a local business owner to discuss having a sprinkler system installed. Actually, I was hoping our existing (defunct) system could be repaired – but I didn’t think it was likely.
I was speaking about Airtable the other day. Shocker – I know. As is sometimes the case, the person I was speaking to had not yet heard of Airtable, so I had to pull out my trusty brief description:
“It’s like Excel, but in the cloud, and more of a database tool than a spreadsheet tool.”
The free version of Airtable is perhaps one of the best “freemium” softwares that I’ve ever used. In the free version, you get unlimited access to bases, a large number of records per base (1,200), access to all views, collaboration/commenting, etc. In truth, the free version unlocks about 90% of the software’s capabilities. That’s not shabby.