Most businesses today have more data on their hands than they know what to do with. Because data, both small and big, is so plentiful, it’s difficult for businesses to manage and leverage it.
In reality, data can be daunting for many organizations. Per CompTIA research, just one-quarter of companies report being where they’d like to be in terms of managing and using data. It doesn’t have to be this way.
With proper database management practices, businesses can keep data under control and put it to work for them. They can take advantage of opportunities related to the use of data and implement data initiatives that are successful. This all starts by understanding what database management is and why it matters.
Understanding the Basics of Database Management
Companies need to understand the fundamentals of database management to thrive. Read on to discover everything you need to know about database management and why it’s important.
What is Database Management?
Database management refers to the organization of data. As a discipline, it is a set of practices that enable businesses to manipulate and control data to meet all conditions throughout the data lifecycle.
Typically, database administrators (DBAs) carry out tasks related to database management. A few of these tasks include retrieving data, storing data and organizing data on a computer. They also design, and support data to increase its value and work to reduce data redundancy.
Database administrators have extensive knowledge of, and skills related to:
- Programming languages/structured query languages (such as Java)
- Database schemas
- Database automation
- Operating systems
- File systems
- Data structures
- Data sets
- Database structures
- Data warehouses
- Application programs
DBAs can also control access to an organization’s data by granting or denying access to end users. A database administrator makes the process of database management easier for organizations and plays a central role on a data management team.
Why Is Database Management Important for Businesses?
Database management is vital for the health of businesses because it promotes data security/database security, data protection, data integrity and swift data speed. It also provides the foundation companies need to mine their data and derive lucrative insights from it.
When database management is practiced, companies can make better use of their data. As a result, they can prevent common consequences of ineffective data use, such as:
- Wasted time that could be put to good use in other areas of the business
- Lack of agility/slow decision-making
- Internal confusion regarding data-related priorities
- Operational inefficiencies that result in reduced margins
- Inability to accurately assess staff performance
In the post-pandemic business landscape, there has been an increased emphasis on data science and data analytics. Companies want to mine as much value from their data as possible. However, businesses must first establish a solid data management approach before attempting to extract insights from their data. Learn more in Trends to Watch: Data Management and Analytics.
The Objectives of Database Management
The objectives of database management are straightforward. They include data storage optimization, performance, efficiency, privacy and security.
“By controlling data throughout its entire lifecycle, from creation through retirement, organizations can prevent events that degrade efficiency and revenue and boost data integration for greater business intelligence,” an article by Informatica explained.
The process of managing data for an entire company is complex. Learning how database management works and what a database management system is will help demystify the process of data management.
How Database Management Works
Database management works by database administrators and other verified users utilizing a database engine/database management system (DBMS) to store data, access data and manipulate data.
For database management to be successful, it’s essential that those managing a company’s database(s) understand the different types of data models. They include the following:
- Hierarchical database model
- Network model
- Relational model
- Object-oriented database model
- Document model
- Entity-relationship model
- Star schema
- Object-relational model
When database administrators and other data managers work in tandem to organize, store and retrieve data using tools like DBMS, companies can both effectively manage and use their data.
What Is a Database Management System?
Typically, companies and database administrators use database management systems as key tools to manage data and achieve their data-related goals.
A database management system is software created by database programmers. This software is vital to the enormous task of data management. With a DBMS, verified users can define a database’s structure, configure user accounts, monitor performance, manage backups, restore databases to a previous iteration and more.
According to an article by Statista, the top database management systems worldwide, in order of popularity, include:
- Microsoft SQL Server
- IBM Db2
- Microsoft Access
- Amazon DynamoDB
Not all databases are created equally. For example, open-source databases, such as MySQL, are free to download and modify data. Closed-source databases, like Microsoft SQL Server, have protected code. A centralized, single database is stored on a single device, but distributed databases store and run data across many devices.
Database administrators often use a relational database management system (RDBMS) over other types of DBMS software to manage a company’s data. This is because relational DBMS have the capacity to handle any amount of data. Non-relational database software, such as NoSQL software, can only manage small quantities of data. MySQL, Maria DB, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle are examples of relational databases.
A database system differs from other forms of data storage because it enables database concurrency. In other words, a database enables numerous users to affect numerous transactions. This makes database management systems more efficient forms of data storage and therefore valuable to organizations on a mission to manage their data.
Seventy-eight percent of executives agree that if they could harness all their data, their business would be much stronger. Stronger businesses start with better database management practices. Once data is properly managed, it can be used for the good of the business.