Table Advice Please!


#1

Good morning!

I know this will be considered a bit vague, but I am only wanting some general advice.

I am setting up a base for a small business. We have multiple customers, and each customer is in a different stage of their project.

I know that everything really depends on the details of the business, customers, and project steps, but in general what do you guys suggest:

                        1) Setting up a table with the customer's information and fields regarding EVERY STEP AND 
                            DETAIL about their project....

                            OR.....

                        2) Setting up a table with the customer's information linked to OTHER TABLES that contain 
                            the steps and details?

Thank you for ANY advice!


#2

I definitely suggest multiple tables and using linked records. #1 above would be using Airtable like a spreadsheet, which it is not. #2 above would be using Airtable like a database, which it is. So you will get a lot more out of Airtable if you use it for what it is intended for.

A general piece of advice for working with databases is to create a new table for each new and different “thing” you need to represent in your data. If this “thing” you want to represent has multiple attributes that every instance of that “thing” will have, by virtue of being one of those “things”, then each of those attributes will represent a field (column) in that table. Name your tables the plural version of the “thing” that each record (row) in your table represents.

So, for your case, some examples might be:

Table = {Customers}
each record represents a Customer

Table = {Projects}
each record represents a Project,
and each Project is linked to a Customer, 
and a Customer may be linked to more than one Project

Table = {Phases}
each record represents a Phase of a Project,
and each Phase is linked to a Project,
and a Project may be linked to many Phases

Table = {Meetings}
each record represents a scheduled Meeting,
and each Meeting is linked to a Project,
and a Project may be linked to many Meetings

In this way, you create a relational structure with your data that becomes much clearer to follow and easier to maintain than creating tens or hundreds of fields (columns) in a single table.


#3

Thank you so much Jeremy, that’s exactly the type of advice I was looking for. I have zero experience with Airtable, and I’m trying to find the best way to make it work for this business. I appreciate you taking the time to give me such relevant pointers!


#4

Hi Jeremy,
I’m a noob here also.
Just wondering for similar feedback as above. trying to put together and appointment setting base for a radiology practice.
Many patients, fixed number of procedures, each one having a duration and priority. Multiple collaborators (technicians, specialists, doctors etc)

TIA Duncan


#5

Hi Duncan.

I’m done working for the night, and it being a holiday weekend, I’m not sure how much time I’ll spend on the forums.

But I will get back to you at some point.


#6

@Duncan_Fischer I’d be happy to help as well. Could you start a new thread and @ me?