Data and Information

Database Management System (DBMS) is an integral part in data management of organizations and institutes. Before understanding this important concept of computer science that makes the business easier and manageable, it is essential to understand what is Database and Data to start with.

Data can be any facts or figures which are essential to be recorded for an organization for its current operations and future growth. Data has a specific meaning and significance. Salaries of employees leave count, marks obtained by students, courses run by an institute, date of birth, customers of a firm, all are examples of data.

When data is processed it becomes information. It is meant to support high-end organizational activities like decision making, budgeting, analysis or corporate reporting. It has great significance for businesses and provides answers to the questions posed by the end users.

Database

Database is an organized collection of data, more accurately it is a collection of related data. Database is a Computer based record-keeping system in which the data is organized and interrelated. It is a systematic technique of recording & maintaining data for easy retrieval and processing.

A database is a stable, logically related collection of essentially meaningful data, representing a specific aspect of the real world. A random collection where, data is neither related nor serve a purpose cannot be called as a database.

The concept of database management system begins with understanding the database and its building blocks:

  • Columns- fields, attributes that represent an individual item of data
  • Rows-Records, tuples that contain multiple columns values to represent one entity or object.
  • Tables- A logical group of columns.

A number of tables make the entire database having following characteristics

  • Organized and related
  • Shared and Centralized
  • Permanent and Persistent
  • Valid and Integrated data
  • Security and controlled access
  • Consistency of stored data
  • Minimum redundancy
  • Independence from underlying hardware, Operating System and application programs
  • Easily accessible
  • Backups and Recoverable
  • Flexible to change in hardware.

 Database Management System

A database management system (DBMS) is a collection of logically interrelated data and a set of programs integrated with in the DBMS to access data stored. The collection of data is called database which stores information relevant to an enterprise. A major role of a DBMS with the perspective of organization using it that it offers the system and mechanism to preserve and retrieve information in a convenient and efficient manner.

Database Management System isspecifically targeted to manage huge amount of data and provide it as information to the intended users. Management of data is closely related to defining structures for storage of data and related mechanisms for the manipulation of information through a specific database language or tools.

Since data is highly crucial to the organization, DBMS are expected to provide mechanism to ensure the safety of the data stored. It must be resistant to be affected by system crashes, unauthorized access or malicious attempts to alter.

An important aspect of DBMS is that the data is shared among multiple users. In presence of this basic requirement the shared data must inhibit possible anomalous results.

A DBMS provides an efficient storage and management mechanisms like

  • Store the data
  • Retrieve the data
  • Update or modify the data
  • Delete or remove the data
  • Share the data among different users and applications
  • Ensure the security of the data
  • Recover the data in case of failure
  • Facility to  write application programs using the stored data

Database System Applications

If you look around you, databases are used everywhere. Here are some of the fields and activities where database systems are used to store and process the daily data:

    • Organizational Information
      • Sales: For customer, product, and purchase information.
      • Accounting: For payments, receipts, account balances, assets and other accounting information.
      • Human resources: For information about employees, educational qualifications, experience, career plan, salaries, taxes, allowances and benefits, and for generation of paychecks.
      • Manufacturing: For management of the supply chain and for tracking production of items in factories, inventories of items in warehouses and stores, and ordered products.
      • Online retailers: For sales data, online bill generation, order tracking, product recommendation and management of product evaluations.
    • Banking and Finance
      • Banking: For customer account information, transactions, loans, repayments and transactions reports to the account holders.
      • Credit card transactions: For shopping on credit cards, transaction management and generation of user statements.
      • Finance: For storing and processing information about assets, properties, sales, and purchases along with stock management and bonds. Database systems play a major role in storing and presenting the real-time stock market data for online trading at individual and organizational level.
  • Educational Institutes: For storing and managing student and faculty related information. Primarily about courses, student enrolment and grading. Human resources management, finance, accounting, library, stores can also be a part of such institutes.
  • Transportation: In case of airline, railroad or bus transportation customer reservations and transportation schedule will be the most important aspect. In these databases the geographical distribution of data among various locations is a crucial factor.
  • Telecommunication: For storing the data about customers, plans, calls transactions, generating monthly bills, managing plans, maintaining and informing about balances, and storing information about the communication networks.
  • Medical services: for storing the data about patients, medical histories, doctors, treatment, surgeries, medicines, generating bills and inventory.