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Electronic Communications Databases

1-What electronic databases do you use (personally and/or professionally)? And what do you use them for?

2-How have you seen these applications used in your organization? Give examples. (Word processing, Presentation, Spread Sheet, Database)

3-What "off the shelf" applications are specific to the human services profession (i.e., case management software)? Which have you used? What are their useful characteristics? What characteristics would you improve? If you don't work in the human services field yet - do some research as to what is being used and report your findings.

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1) I have used professional excel as a database. What I used it for was to keep track of our bookkeeping. Basically, I recorded in the first column the client's specific project. Often our clients had many different projects at the same time. I would in the next column record the estimate cost. This was the estimate that we sent to the client for approval before we began the project. Next column was a space to indicate if the estimate was approved. This is critical since we can't proceed on a project without a client approval.

Next column we then indicated the invoice amount. Often it is different then the estimate amount due to many factors (the project took longer to do, excess client changes, suppliers were cheaper/more expensive then anticipated).

Then, we would indicate the different between invoice and estimate. We would hope that this difference would be positive, which means we incurred more income. A negative value however does not mean that we lost money; more that our estimate was too low or we were able to be more efficient in our delivery of the project.

When you compile data form hundreds of projects over many years, it creates a comprehensive database. The document was posted electronically on my company's server for everyone in account management and accounting to locate.

I have personally have used a different type of database in my personal life. One would be when doing research for a university class. I have used ProQuest databases, which is an electronic compilation of journal articles. When doing research you can base your ideas and literature search on previously published data. Having access to a database of this research makes it so much easier - you have access to so many articles on the tip of your fingers - no more running around the library looking for articles from hundreds of different journals.

2) Word: Yes, I have used microsoft word. I use it on a daily basis. I write up proposals, create reports, type office memos, use it to send faxes.. I have my company's letterhead on the top, so I can use Word to type up letters for the clients to send to them... the uses of Word or limitless.

Presentation: I use PowerPoint. It is used when I am presenting to clients - at our first meeting and I am showing them my proposal - when we are presenting our final project. As well, we often create power point presentations to send to prospective clients introducing them to our firm and our capabilities

Spread Sheet: I use excel. It is a very powerful tool. You can use it to calculate both simple and complex mathematical aspects. I have used it simply to look at averages, I have plotted graphs and made pie charts, I made tables, used it to sort through large set of data...

Database: I have used Acess, however, I am not too fond of this product. It was ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses electronic communication databases.