Database management is used by businesses of all kinds, all over the world. You might not even realise you’re probably using hundreds of databases every day.
We work with a wide range of businesses to help design, set up, implement, and manage their databases in a way that is safe, secure, easy to use, and that meet the unique needs of their organisation.
Database management and database management systems require a significant amount of technical knowledge and understanding, as well as a deep understanding of the requirements of your business operations, your infrastructure, your software, and your teams.
What is Database Management?
In simple terms, database management refers to the many ways data can be categorised and stored for end-users and database administrators to access it. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet, (and in the past was confined to traditional file systems) but for most business use cases today, something a bit more powerful is required.
Databases can be held in the cloud, in a single physical database, or in multiple datacentres for additional data security. The data held in a database can also be accessed in thousands of different mthods from physical-only ports to apps, programmes, browsers, and phones. All kinds of operations can be carried out using databases, so it’s vital that the information to support your operations is managed in a logical structure that is secure and meets the needs of your business and key stakeholders.
How Does Database Management Work?
There are three key elements needed to effectively manage a database: the DBMS, the database engine, and the database schema.
- A database management system (DBMS) is the system software for creating and managing databases, which means that it allows users to create, delete, modify, update, view, and secure data in the database.
- The database engine is the heart of the database and is what makes the data accessible and modifiable.
- The database schema is what defines the structure of the database – essentially the labels on the filing cabinet and the logic behind what is stored where.
These three elements work together to ensure that any end-user has efficient data access, that data and content management is carried out, and that database security is never compromised.
Why is Database Management Important
There are many reasons the importance of database management cannot be overstated. Data is the backbone of most businesses today and the maintenance of databases is one of the best ways to ensure operational efficiency at the user end. Database management tasks can help identify performance issues from users or poor application performance, ensure user data storage is carried out safely and securely, and help organisations scale and grow.
Databases mean that businesses have a structured way to organise and store large amounts of data, which means that it is simple to access and retrieve information when needed. Without a database, it’s very likely that organisational data would be stored in various formats and locations, making it difficult to manage and opening organisations up to both operational inefficiencies and security or data breaches. A well-designed and managed database also allows for fast data retrieval and easier data analysis, which is vital when making key decisions based on business intelligence.
A well-managed database not only ensures that company data can be found easily when it’s needed, but that the data stored is accurate and consistent across an organisation, which is crucial for making informed business decisions. For example, a database management system can be used to enforce data integrity rules, making sure that all data stored is valid and complete, improving the overall data quality and reducing any errors made as a result of incomplete data.
Databases often contain sensitive information that needs to be protected from unauthorised access, breaches, or theft. A DBMS can provide a range of additional security features (both for internal and external use) such as database monitoring tools, access control, encryption, fraud detection, and audit trails to ensure data security.
As well as operating more efficiently in the present, database management lays the groundwork to help businesses grow and scale effectively. When database files are organised and performance is well managed, the volume of data stored can be increased without affecting day-to-day functionality for users, with database performance monitoring allowing developers and managers to ensure central storage and functionalities can be maintained.
Different Types of Databases
There are a range of database engines and database management systems (DBMS) available on the market today. Application programmers, database managers, web developers, database developers and many more roles will interact with databases and the application programmes that depend on them every day, but there are thousands of other roles in an organisation that will also utilise the database engine, so designing an accessible user experience is vital.
Database structure can come in many forms, depending on your business requirements. Cloud databases and cloud database management systems have become increasingly popular database systems over the last few years and are a popular choice for many small businesses. However, many other database types are available, such as hybrid database systems, external database systems or
A DBMS functions as a mediator between databases and users or application programs, guaranteeing consistent organisation and easy accessibility of data. Some of the most popular DBMS include:
- MySQL: This is a popular open-source DBMS that’s widely used for web applications. It’s known for its scalability; reliability and its open-source functionality allows for much faster turnaround times in many cases.
- Oracle Database: This is a powerful and widely used commercial DBMS due to its advanced features, security functionalities and scalability.
- Microsoft SQL Server: This is a commercial DBMS that’s widely used for Windows-based applications. It’s known for its integration with other Microsoft products, which makes implementation much simpler for organisations already using the Microsoft suite.
Choosing the Right DBMS for your Business
There are many ways to manage and structure databases, using different database access languages, different database schemas and database structures. For some organisations, a simple file storage system will be all that’s needed, but for many others, the business requirements are much more in-depth.
When choosing a database management provider or DBMS, there are a few things you’ll want to consider:
- The purpose of the database – consider what you need the database for and what type of data you will be storing. You’ll also want to consider the appropriate structure for your databases. This will help you determine what features and capabilities you need from your DBMS.
- Scalability – you will want to be sure that the database management system you choose can handle the amount of data (plus any immediate redundancy required), and that it can also scale for future growth.
- Security – data security is absolutely critical for businesses today, so look for additional security features, such as user authentication, data encryption, and data backup to keep your client data safe and protect your business in the event of a disaster.
- Usability – you may have technical experts in-house that can easily manage the database interface, but for many organisations, a clear, user-friendly interface with built-in support is still very important.
How Savant can Help Your Organisation with Database Management
We work with businesses in a wide range of sectors, including healthcare and medical research, transportation, finance, and many others. Our expertise spans over two decades, and we’re passionate about always learning, growing and establishing ourselves as experts in the database management sphere.
Whether you are ready to get started straight away or are finding yourself lost in a sea of technical jargon, our team can help. Our team of project and client managers are always on hand to answer questions and work closely with your internal team to ensure your database management strategy is always fit for purpose.
To learn more about database management, the team at Savant, or the work we do, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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