Project Controls International

FPSO and Topsides

West African Costs

Basis of Estimate

(white papers)


         Project Knowledge = Success


Que$tor Estimates

(white papers)    |   contact:   |   check me out at




- Construction Unit Costs

- FPSO and Topside Costs

- Offshore Fabrication Costs

- Welding Consumables


B.Dev./ Contracts

- Contracts: Quantum Meruit

- Guide to Business Acquisition

- Proposal Development

- Relationship Building

- Video: LATTE (Starbucks)

Mind Maps

- Estimating

- Planning

- Schedule Development

- Schedule Maintenance

- Risk Management



- Constructability

- Document Management

- Estimating Process

- Project Claims and COs

- Project Controls

- Project Execution Plan

- Project Execution Strategy

- Contract Synopsis


- Basis of Schedule

- Number of Schedule Activities

- MS Project vs. Primavera P6

- Planning and Scheduling

- Schedule Extension of  Time

- Typical Primavera P6 Settings

- Updating a P6 Schedule

- Video: Liquidated Damages

- Why Your Project will be Late



- Construction Estimating

- Estimating Course

- Planning and Scheduling

White Papers

- Basis of Estimate

- Communicating Effectively

- Construction Escalation

- Earned Value Management

- Estimating Productivity

- Evaluating Change Orders

- International Multipliers

- Nigerian Content Development

- Project Execution Plan

- Project Risk Contingency

- Project Variables

- Que$tor Estimates

- Risk Analysis Spreadsheet

- Risk Breakdown Structure

- Risk Management

- Spreadsheets vs Databases

- Starting the Project

- Why Project Controls

- Work Breakdown Structure

Interesting Stuff

- Programmable Robot

- Pipe Dimensions and Weights

- Concurrent Database

- LibreOffice Base vs. MS Access

- SharePoint Database

- SAP vs Oracle ERP

- Free Unit Converter

- Motivational Food for Thought

- Passionate about Meetings?

- Video: Project Controls



Contact Us

- Bio

- PMC Consultancy

A Choice: Spreadsheets or Databases?

The magnificent and ever present spreadsheet. How could anybody live without it? It’s true that its flexibility, versatility, ease of use, convenience and near limitless possibilities through the use of VBA coding make it a first choice for virtually all office applications, everything from the telephone contact list to the tabulation of a project’s spent man-hours.


Then, why would anybody then bother with a database at all? By comparison it’s complicated and rigid. Plus a spreadsheet can do in principle pretty much everything a database does. Right?


The reality of course is that they are simply different, in the same way that a sports car and a tractor are different. Yes, they both have an engine, and wheels, and both will run on a country lane. However you can see clearly that while they share similarities, they are intended for very different purposes.














The key to understanding their their respective strengths/ application suitability can be neatly highlighted by answering 2 basic questions as follows:


- Number of users: Single user, or multi-user. Will the data be accessed by one single user or many users. Spreadsheets will favor single user access, while multi-user (especially if concurrent) access will warrant the use of a database.


- Static or Dynamic data: Is the data static, whereas there will be no changes, or is the data dynamic with many changes, edits, additions and deletions? An example of static data could be the listing of expenses incurred during a business trip which is to be handed over to the finance department for reimbursement. Once submitted there should be no further need to make changes except for errors and omissions. On the other hand an example of dynamic data could be the contact list for a very large company with people joining and leaving all the time. If the data is static, then a spreadsheet might well suffice, however if the data is dynamic, then a database can be a much better option.


Note: Other considerations for a database of course is the much greater robustness, where access to data tables can be finely managed to only certain users, as well as their access rights, and the database’s inherent powerful data mining capabilities.


Ultimately this is the litmus test: Do you find yourself looking at a spreadsheet that’s out of date, or managing and cross-referencing multiple spreadsheets to gather or calculate information across these? If the answer is yes, think database. Otherwise, if the data is accessed by a single user and is of a static nature (will not be updated again, or on rare occasions only), then think spreadsheet.

P6 vs. MS Project

The two contenders. But which one is better?

An “armchair scheduler” or frontline messenger?

Why Project Controls

Selected Articles


Love them or hate them. How to conduct successful productive meetings.

Funny, but true. Video on the functions of Project Controls.


Settings do matter: pick the wrong settings and your schedule’s output will be meaningless.

What the text books didn’t tell you
Primavera P6 Settings
Video - Project Controls

Selected Articles

Tips on Scheduling

50% Science, 50% Art, 100% Communication

Why Project Controls?

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