Technology has revolutionized the way humans store data. Long ago were the days we had a multitude of folders and dividers in bulky filing cabinets with the private information of consumers and annual company reports and finances. According to Oracle, a database is an organized collection of structured information, or data, typically stored electronically in a computer system. Usually, a software is needed in conjunction with the database which is created, managed, and accessed through a Database Management System (DBMS).This basic knowledge is important to grasp database technologies through a microscopic lens.
This quick guide will give you a closer look at the ways data is structured and the applications on various software approaches for your further understanding.
The Two Ways to Store Data
- A Flat File Database stores all analyzed information in a single file. In other words, it is a collection of data which is stored in columns and or rows that are found in a single file. A lovely example is an Excel spreadsheet where you have the opportunity to have access to a wide view of measurable analytics and other business functions.
Here you can see an example of a flat file system with all the data you need in one single view.
- Easy to simplify and sort out results.
- Only one file is needed.
- Ideal for small databases. An example is a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Less software components required , universal spreadsheet needed for analysis.
- Stores more data than needed leading to inefficiency.
- Flat file database is harder to update.
- No referential integrity(problems when force deleting, typos, and amending data).
- Data is not narrowand is just a broad scope of accumulated data.
- Relational Databases
A more complex but visually appealing approach to gathering and organizing data information. According to IBM, a relational database organized data into tables which can be linked or related based on common data. To put this into perspective, these types of datacan be found in a separate excel spreadsheet in the same single file system containing a more specific set of data gathered from the original set. When reporting in spreadsheets you need to already obtain data in a flat file system in order to use simple tools like this sort of data building to your advantage and to function accordingly.
Here is a closer look at a simple pivot table with the quantities of a product.
- Efficiently stored with a more clear view as the audience.
- Creating meaningful relationshipsotherwise not viewed in a single file.
- Information is rarely duplicated and can be updated.
- Requires a deeper understanding of skills in order to set up properly.
- Additional tools neededto view and access data in order to maintain.
- Such databases may be difficult to scale depending the certain DBMS.
Using Excel for Sales Analysis
Excel is a great business partner for anyone working in medical sales like myself. Working in the aesthetic market, corporate officials must analyze trends and patterns in company data to gather informationon stellar products on the market and applying measurable analytics. This is especially true when navigating a single file system containing margin share, margin percent, and sales in a certain region of the country. Calculating revenues, costs, and profits lets my business know where we stand among competition, gaps in dollar value, and where we need more volume in a certain product or aesthetic division, such as body or face.