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Case Study: The Bakken Museum


The Bakken Museum was started by the co-founder of Medtronic as a place to find early electrical instruments and books on therapeutic uses of electricity. Now a Smithsonian affiliate, The Bakken offers dynamic exhibit experiences and industry-leading STEM-focused education programs focused on the history and nature of electricity and magnetism.


The Bakken Museum had been using Microsoft Access for 10+ years. The entire team wanted to upgrade Microsoft Office, but Bekki, the K-12 Programs Manager, was stuck with an outdated version of Office so her workstation could continue to support their Access database. She became the only user, and was responsible for all database management and reporting for an organization that relies on Access to handle all of their field trip planning, scheduling, billing and reporting.


Arkware helped Bakken transition off of Microsoft Access and into a new database that met all of their needs. The entire team was able to use it, as well as fully update their Microsoft Office licenses. Now, The Bakken Museum has a privately hosted database that the entire team can use through a web browser. All field trips, reporting and billing are run through the Arkware database, which has solved countless workflow issues The Bakken team was previously running into.

Arkware Advantage

The Bakken’s new database still has traditional styling with a focus on usability and familiarity. Bekki was relieved to have an efficient and cost effective solution, and not having a bottleneck at her workstation.

“The team at Arkware took the time to understand the inefficiencies of our previous system and developed a customized database that exceeded our expectation. The process went smoothly. The database functions perfectly. The training is effective and their support has been prompt. I highly recommend the Arkware team.”

Next Steps

The next step for The Bakken Museum is integrating a scheduling system directly into their database to continue streamlining business processes and workflow. Arkware will also integrate Quickbooks into The Bakken’s database so billing and financial reporting is simple and efficient.