Choosing the Right Tool (Software) for the Job
John Snyder, DTR, RD
Have you ever
watched a mechanic, or maybe your significant other, try to use the wrong tool
for the job? It happens all the time. But it is not just mechanics, it is
people in general.
Have you ever
watched an office assistant try to create a table in Microsoft® Word in order
to perform arithmetic calculations? Maybe you even have tried this
yourself. It “kinda” works, but not really. The reason it “kinda” works, but
not really is because the table function in Microsoft Word was not originally
designed to do arithmetic calculations. It was designed to help word
processors format displayed information on a page (eg, make text appear
directly to the right of a picture.)
was designed to perform intricate calculations on
information displayed in a columnar layout. Can you use Excel to
format information on a page? Yeah, kinda-sorta-not really. Can you use
Excel as a database? Yeah, kinda-sorta-not-really. That is what Microsoft®
Access was designed for.
the basic design concept for a software package like Word or Excel
can prevent purchasing the wrong software package for the job. It also can
help determine if a software vendor is fully utilizing existing functionality
or if it is necessary to build an entirely new module.
Thank you for
reading and remember: Knowing the right answer is not nearly as important as
knowing what question to ask next.