Be it an online shop, an educational platform, a logistics company, a bank or something else — each of these projects has to face and deal with a huge amount of data. And business success greatly depends on the ability to organize good work with the received information.
The concern is not only to store it properly somewhere, but also to be able to manipulate it conveniently.
The solution here is databases. Traditional databases give you the ability to store, organize, sort, and retrieve data in custom applications. Their main disadvantage is that you need a developer to create a tool for you to manage all the data.
However, now there is a huge number of NoCode tools which can help you build up a smooth process of information processing in just a matter of hours.
And here’s why a NoCode database is a great solution:
- You can create your DB with NoCode tools and add unique features similar to a custom software project;
- You don’t have to spend funds on an expensive developer to manage your data: it’s enough to use automation tools.
Today let’s take a closer look at three NoCode tools that we highly recommend for handy, fast and efficient work with data.
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Airtable is like Excel or Google Sheets, though of a higher level (or maybe even two or three levels): it allows you to create any desirable number of workspaces, databases and spreadsheets, change the colour of elements, hide certain columns, add text documents and images into spreadsheets and lists and much more than that.
What Airtable can do:
- Manage the visual appearance of dashboards;
- Create spreadsheets, calendars, galleries, kanban boards, timelines, Gantt charts;
- Operate CRM and ERP (accounting system);
- Use templates of spreadsheets, boards and other things: Airtable’s library contains more than 60 solutions for various tasks;
- Connect applications to your workspace: the marketplace service has a choice of more than 200 apps;
- Create Actions to speed up your work.
Now let’s zoom in on each point.
The principle of work with files in Airtable can be described as the one used in a matryoshka doll (one-in-one model): first, you create a workspace, then a database and, finally, a document: a spreadsheet, kanban, calendar or something else. With this, you can change the design of the document at any time: from the very start of the work or during its course — you have complete freedom of choice based on practical reasons or on your mood.
And if let’s say, you don’t feel enough energy today and you want someone to solve everything for you, then Airtable can be of help as it has got templates for different tasks: trackers for product teams, a content plan calendar, a catalog of goods and others.
Besides, the work can be sped up with applications and actions from the Airtable market. For example, the SendGrid application will allow you to send emails to your team members, while AirFlow will help pull data from Facebook, Google, Shopify and etc. using the API. And Actions (i.e. scheduled scenarios) will help you plan working meetings in a couple of clicks and add them into your team’s personal calendars, send notifications in Slack or create timetables. You can also create Actions yourself: completely from scratch or using simple templates.
If you want to use Airtable to manage your contacts or products, then you have two options. Sure enough that you can enter all customer contacts manually and even in this case it won’t take much time, but Airtable also allows you to quickly automate this process using integration with dozens of services.
For example, you can combine the work of Airtable and Mailchimp and create a database of contacts for mailing within the workspace, and then automatically send emails to the collected addresses directly through Airtable. And for managing a customer database or keeping accounts of goods in the online store, for example, in Shopify, you can integrate Airtable with this platform. For integration, you can use Parabola, which we are going to talk about next.
Combining these NoCode tools will literally allow you to juggle any information.
a free version is available, and the price of paid plans varies from $ 10 to $ 20 if paid monthly, and from $ 12 to $ 24, if paid annually.
It’s probably one of the easiest tools for automated work with data. Parabola can save you loads of time: you just don’t need to waste hours on doing routine tasks. You can create scenarios of integration work from scratch or use ready-made templates from the service base.
Ways to use Parabola:
- In E-commerce;
- In marketing;
Things you can do:
- Create various scenarios for working with data and set up their launch schedules. For example, you work with Shopify and every week you need to audit stock on hand. In this case, you can set up a scheduled scenario that once a week will run to scan data in the Shopify database and then pull factual information about storage on hand into Airtable, Excel or Google Sheets;
- Logically coming out from the above paragraph: you can keep track of stock on hand;
- Make spreadsheets look one whole: customize formatting the fields of prices, dates and etc.;
- Generate reports: just set up integration with Excel, Google Sheets, Shopify or other databases, automate data sorting and working with formulas, organise saving reports into a designated file;
- Configure pulling of contacts, for example, from Shopify into Airtable for more convenient work;
- Send automatic emails to customers from the contact database: for example, to inform them about a limited quantity of goods that customers showed interest in, about an “abandoned cart” or about a payment.
and many other things.
you can use a free version, but then, for example, the option of scheduled scenarios won’t be available. Or you can pay from $80 to $400 per month and work in a team, create scheduled scenarios of any length and get priority support.
According to its creators, it’s a “data flow editor” for building a back-end with no code. The back-end is an important part of an IT product, and it is clear why: if UX / UI is the face of the project, then the back-end is its skeleton and muscles. And it happens quite often that in order to make the whole body move smoothly you have to pay for expensive services of programmers. And it’s a painstaking task indeed to find a knowledgeable developer who will understand your idea and do his work well, or, at least, won’t cause any troubles.
Tools like Directual can save you much time and money: with them, managing data flows is like pulling the strings of puppets. The main thing is to be able to manipulate them correctly.
What exactly Directual can do:
- Create scenarios of applications’ work with the help of the visual diagrams of the following type: “If A is true, then B. If A is false, then C.” (see the diagram below). Scenarios are created and managed with the help of “objects”. (There are two types of scenarios: real-time (“on-line”) that are launched with the start of the event, and scheduled — they are launched regularly at the scheduled time: on a certain day of the week, certain date of the month or at a set time. For example, using the real-time scenario you can send emails that confirm registration, while scheduled scenarios can be used to generate reports about the number of new customers of the online store over the past month.
- Manage data structures: logs of connected integrations and systems, passwords, e-mails, links, user sessions and etc.
- Work with the API. They can be used to set up interactions between the back-end and the front-end, or connect the back-end with a third-party application. In Directual you can do it using Webhooks or API endpoints. With Webhooks you can set up integrations, for example, with Tilda, Webflow, Zoho Forms and others. All connections are saved in the ‘Integrations’ file and then they can be easily edited or deleted. Using API endpoints, you can manage users and their roles, database records (for example, set up filtering).
Directual has a great tutorial video on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8pNin1daBA&t=315s
- Set up integrations with other services and connect them to scenarios. Directual database contains about 15 compatible applications. Bubble.io, Zapier, Airtable, Telegram, Facebook, Gmail and others are among them. Well, yes, if judged by the number of applications for integration, Directual loses points to Integromat but it still allows you to provide your service with all necessary functions.
With Directual you can send notifications to Telegram and to the e-mail, accept payments in an online shop, connect Airtable to maintain CRM and etc.
No product can exist without users and having users means facing lots of information and data. Working with them is almost the most difficult and important part of the project creation process. The efficiency of the product on the whole and your money and nerves, in particular, depend on how fast and smooth your working process is.
NoCode tools help speed up the project launch, avoid wasting time on searching for a good backend developer, and ease working with the information.
In 021, a NoCode-development studio, we use dozens of proven solutions and help small and large businesses launch products in 2–3 weeks.
You can sign up for a free consultation on our website. In half an hour we’ll answer all questions, help select necessary tools for your idea and estimate the costs and terms.