The challenge with modern data management, according to business author and professor Prashanth Southekal, is that “companies have tons and tons of data, but [success] isn’t about data collection; it’s about data management and insight.” Much like water takes on the shape of its container, data can only reveal as much as the software that holds it allows.
For those who are looking for a solution that offers more, here are seven ways Kintone’s platform supports better data management and analysis:
1. Manage who sees what
Kintone’s permission controls, which let you manage who sees what, can give your team a way to work from a shared database without oversharing confidential information. As an administrator you can decide whether or not a user can see parts of a data record, only certain data records, the entire database, or even the areas on Kintone where that database is kept.
For example: let’s say Kyle from customer support needs to access a customer’s profile in the sales database as part of answering a question the customer has about their subscription.
Field Level Permissions: Kyle can access the sales database and the particular record he needs, but he can’t see every field in the record such as the social security number or home address.
Record Level Permissions: Kyle can access the sales database and the particular record he needs because it’s his regional customer, but he won’t be able to see any customer records from other regions in the database.
App Level: Kyle can see that there is a sales database but he can’t open or access any info inside it.
Spaces* Level: Kyle can’t even access the part of the Kintone platform where the sales database is stored, so he won’t even know there is a sales database.
*Spaces is Kintone glossary for a dedicated workspace in Kintone where a team or department can organize and store all their data, communication, and workflows. Think of it like a digital floor in a company building that hosts you, your coworkers, and anyone else relevant to your day-to-day work.
You can set permissions on an individual, team, or department level, and these group-level permissions make it easy to instantly apply a range of permissions to a user without having to manually set them up every time. For example, if a sales intern gets hired, you can mark their profile as a member of the sales department; this change instantly applies the permissions of the sales department to them.
2. Create and save custom reports
Good reports are critical to understanding your business, but if the data isn’t clear or up to date it can be difficult to make informed decisions.
Kintone’s reporting features let you filter your data in any number of ways to measure the metrics you want to track. Maybe you run a crisis hotline and want to know how many calls come from any given number. Or maybe you’re a national drinks distributor who wants to track product distribution to your partners at Walmart and 7-Eleven.
You can set up filters to highlight parts of your data–and then visualize it with a variety of graphs. You can save the reports you create for later and re-generate them later at the click of a button for weekly or monthly reporting purposes. These reports always pull from real-time data, meaning the numbers stay up to date without any manual aggregation from yourself or your team.
3. Link correlating databases together
Sometimes you want to see your data in context, and that can mean alongside data from another database. For example, maybe you’re in accounting and want to know which expense reports are related to which events. Or perhaps you work in customer success and want to know how many support tickets a customer has filed (and whether or not those tickets are open or closed, who handled them, etc.).
Kintone’s related records features allow you to retrieve and display data from another related database in the record you’re looking at. This can be especially useful when you want to review your data from a single screen rather than separately open and manually compare each database side-by-side.
4. Create custom databases without IT support
In Kintone you can create a database in three key ways:
From scratch using drag-and-drop
From one of Kintone’s database templates
By migrating an existing spreadsheet you already have
Here we’ll talk primarily about the first method. Kintone’s platform features a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to build your desired database field-by-field to your exact specification. This interface requires no technical expertise and users can choose from a variety of field types when deciding what they want to track, including rich text fields, dates, multi-choice and radio lists, attachments, and more.
Once you’ve organized your fields the way you want, you can launch it as a live database app you and your team can use. You can even go back and edit the database the same way you built it, making it easy to modify your databases on a granular level in a matter of minutes.
5. Set up task tracking with workflow management
Whenever you execute a task or series of tasks, there’s usually a process involved. Maybe that’s creating a graphic for a client, getting it approved by management, sending it to the client for sign off, and then emailing it to a vendor to print.
Kintone’s platform lets you create custom step-by-step workflows around your data to track processes and tasks from beginning to end. By making every step visible, you can begin to see patterns that affect your business, whether it’s a bottleneck, duplicate steps in your process, or something else. So whether you’re a project manager with time-sensitive deadlines or an operations manager overseeing a process, you can get the visibility you need to keep things on schedule.
6. Create reminders around deadlines and assignments
When you’re a manager, you can lose a lot of time chasing after team members about deadlines, task handoffs, or other things they need to pay attention to.
Kintone helps offload this burden with automated reminders and notifications that can be customized to share any message you like. Maybe it’s a general reminder that tells you when a deadline is three days out, or an automated notification that a coworker’s task has been reassigned to someone else.
These notifications let you automate the tedious stuff while ensuring you and your team never lose sight of your priorities no matter how crazy your workload gets.
7. Connect your existing software to Kintone
Unless you’re starting your business from scratch, you likely have a couple solutions already in place you really love to use. Maybe it’s QuickBooks for invoicing, HubSpot for marketing, Mailchimp for email, or something else. But the bottom line is you probably want to continue using those solutions even when adding Kintone to your list of tools.
Well there’s good news: Kintone offers a variety of third-party extensions to help you connect Kintone to the platforms you love. There are also a variety of plug-ins you can use to further customize your Kintone experience, all of which can be set up without writing or altering code.
Here is our current list of available extensions. If you’re not sure we offer the extension you need, not to worry, you or one of our partners can create it with Kintone’s open API.
It’s the little things that go into making a database solution great. Kintone’s database features are designed with collaboration in mind so that teams can use the platform in a way that supports productivity, effectiveness, and accountability. No more dropped balls, missed deadlines, or lost memos.
If you want to see Kintone in action, you can request a custom prototype build with one of our product specialists. Prototype builds are where you explain a process you’d like to see in Kintone and we build it out for you in Kintone for free.
About the Author
Michelle is the Content Marketing Specialist at Kintone. She is a content marketing expert with several years in content marketing. She moved to San Francisco in 2015 and has experience working in small businesses, non-profits, and video production firms. She graduated in 2012 with a dual degree in Film and English.