Computers allow massive amounts of data to be stored, categorized, analyzed, and retrieved. Data can be entered into the computer and then used to provide us with relevant and important information.
In order to ensure that the data is accumulated correctly, it is imperative that the data be entered into a database. All the data is kept in an easy to access format.
The design will depend largely on what type of information is to be stored. Some may contain bibliographical references to books and articles, and will be different from those used to store statistical, quantitative data.
To ensure that all is kept in order, database management systems are usually put in place. These systems govern where the data that is entered is stored, who can enter data, and even who can log into the database.
There are several types in existence. Each serves a particular purpose for the organization that utilizes it.
The first type is an operational database. This type allows information regarding the operation of an organization to be stored.
The information entered is usually categorized by subject. Additionally, the information can be updated frequently, which allows the operational information of the organization to remain current.
Many organizations, the world over, use this type in order to maintain the order of the organization. All kinds of information can be stored.
Contact information for clients and employees may be kept, as well as financial information, benefits information, and information on inventory. The type and amount of information stored is determined by the organization.
The second type is a data warehouse. This type is usually used to store aggregated data on sales made by a company.
The data, upon being entered into a data warehouse, is simplified in many regards, retaining only those bits of information which are vital to analyzing sales records. The information does not need to be overly specific because it is not being used to run an organization.
Rather, the information stored in a data warehouse is analyzed in order to check whether the company is performing at the top of its game. The important part is to ensure that the data will be available to those who need it.
An analytical database is the third type. It is similar to the data warehouse.
Users of this type may do their work directly inside of a data warehouse, but may also copy relevant data to another location. The purpose of this type is also to analyze sales made by companies.
The fourth type is called distributed databases. This type contains parts of the first and second types.
The information stored in this type is geared to be useful to those who will use it. Separate branches of a company, which will differ in the information that they require to operate, will use this type of database.
Only the information a specific branch needs can be accessed by the employees. This prevents the operation of branch from becoming overly complicated.
A fifth type is that of the end-user. This type is pertinent to a single person who is using it.
A budget, personal contact information, and information about personal collections are a few examples of this type. The information can be stored in standard spreadsheet generators or text files.
The sixth type is the external database. Some internet sites are designed to provide information for free or via subscription to their users.
The information is drawn from other sources, which may include the users themselves. This type can be very helpful to those who want information without having to pay for it.
One final type that is cheap and easy to use is the hypermedia database. The internet is an example of this type.
Although the World Wide Web contains an immense amount of information, it is still categorized and indexed like the other types. It is even possible to search it, and find the information you need.
Some of these databases are complex. A great amount of skill is required to design, build, and maintain any of them.
A database administrator is trained in how to do all of those tasks. Many schools offer educational programs in the field of database administration.
These programs do not usually require a great deal of experience in the field prior to enrolling in classes. If you have an interest in data and information, developing systems to store it for future use, and creating such systems, this might be the field for you.
Take some time to learn about programs that are offered near you. It may be the best thing you’ve ever done!