Extremely impressed and 100% on board with Airtable so far. This is my first foray into relational databases, so I’m learning as I go along. The videos and help articles have been stellar. The only snag I have run into in converting our spreadsheets into AT bases is the lack of ability to either link bases (or subdivide a base into groups of tables as others have suggested).
My job is managing information relating to individual aid projects undertaken by a humanitarian aid org. Each aid project has its own location, implementation partner; donor(s); reports, contracts, beneficiary lists, and other documents; photos; budget, disbursements, and other financial tracking; timeline; and outcomes. Currently it’s all in one giant base (except for the financial accounting), and it’s amazing–for me and my team.
However, the rest of the org is using their own systems to manage information that overlaps and interacts with this information–there’s a lot of time wasted finding and sharing info (and occasionally crucial information is not known due to lack of coordination).
In dealing with emergency aid, projects can change focus mid-stream. New numbers of refugees can mean a change in budgets. Infrastructure problems can change timelines. A large fundraising campaign in response to a crisis would involve all of these teams. Communication is often fragmented, delayed and/or tedious due to separate databases managed by each team.
We are planning to migrate everyone over to AT from various other apps, so each team can maximize their efficiency. But we really need to be able to link records between bases and/or group tables for the entire org to really function smoothly.
Here is our setup, for context:
Programs manages all the planning, execution, and information for all aid projects. Comms team needs photos and up-to-date information on outcomes, but also needs to plan and track email blasts, blog posts, social media updates, etc–which not everyone needs access to. Finance needs the budgets, disbursements, start and end dates, contracts, but cannot have the whole team mucking around in their accounting. Devs coordinates donors for each project and needs budgets and outcomes, but access to donor information needs to be limited. The empowerment team manages refugee-run businesses that sometimes provide products for aid projects. The refugee-run businesses also provide some, but not all, items for sale in their online store.
Tables for every one of these teams in a single base is just not feasible. Setting up different views and filters for each person who needs each group of info is pretty tedious, and we haven’t even added the other teams’ tables.
We will figure out workarounds for this with Zapier and slack notifications and whatnot in the meantime, but any solution to address these issues would be worth all the marbles.