How to track and manage all uncertainty budgets - Database?


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I use Excel to draft up all the uncertainty budgets that go into our 17025 Scope of Accreditation. The problem is that we have many instruments, some with hundreds of ranges each (e.g. gage block sets, pin gages, Fluke calibrators, Agilent/HP multimeters, etc.) This means thousands of uncertainty budgets, some with control charts, spread out over hundreds of spreadsheets.

Now we're under the gun to implement software version tracking, to include Excel spreadsheets. The idea of version tracking all these (mostly ad-hoc) uncertainty spreadsheets makes my stomach rumble.

My question is: Does anybody use some sort of database instead of Excel sheets to manage all their uncertainty budgets? Can off-the-shelf gage R&R software (e.g. Minitab) be configured for tracking uncertainty budgets?

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Super Moderator
You could set up a central fileserver with a folder to store all of the "official" spreadsheets. Only have a few people with write access approved. Then you can make a central spreadsheet (or access database) with the URL addresses for opening up the appropriate spreadsheet. If all of the spreadsheets are set up similarly, you could link the appropriate cell values in the individual spreadsheets to the central file and display results.


You are right - a database is where you (probably) need to go. I have a smaller situation from yours, with one (humongous) spread sheet, and it _will_ be a real db soon enough. The trick is to figure out the data structure - flow and category/grouping - first, then write the db. I've no idea who has done this already. Perhaps you are big enough to justify a serious general package; I'm not. IF you understand the data structure, THEN you can evaluate a commercial package. Otherwise, you are taking their word for it.
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