You are more likely to grasp information easily from an organized data set compared to an unorganized one. The reason being, it is fairly difficult to retrieve information from raw data. This is why we have a database that allows us to organize the data. So, whenever you want to get information to make a decision, you can simply use the database, where you can access, manage, and update accordingly. Besides providing convenience, it has several types. A few of them are: relational, distributed, object-oriented, and cloud. We define data in the relational database to reorganize and access it in multiple ways. In a distributed database, the database collections are stored across different locations in a computer network. An object-oriented database is about organizing based on objects and logic. And, cloud database is concerned with the virtualized environment where users get access. In brief, this is what database is all about. Now let’s go through the benefits it offers, and its drawbacks.
Advantages of Database
A database lets us access data strategically, making it possible for us to easily manage information. There are many such advantages of the database, let’s look at some of them.
1. Improves data access
The database allows multiple users to access data, and they can do so at the same time. The system is designed in a way, where features such as concurrency control strategies are applied. These strategies aim at maintaining the integrity and accuracy of the data. Earlier, the database was confined to usage to one person at a time, and now the modern system is designed by keeping improved access and multiuser in mind.
2. Improves data security
The data is an asset of the organization, and it is at risk of cyberattacks. This is why the database is used, as it provides improved data security. The data within the database are protected, and several measures are taken to ensure security. It prevents potential serious security breaches. The outsider’s access is prevented, thus protecting the confidential information of the organization. It is very cost-effective for businesses, conforming to the terms and policies, and protecting them from potential threats.
3. Reduces data redundancy
Data redundancy can be very problematic, which is why we have a database. But, data redundancy doesn’t occur just by accidents, sometimes it is intentional. When the processes are quite complex, then accidental data redundancy takes place, while intentional data redundancy is used for data protection. The unnecessary data which is repeated can be removed by using foreign keys properly. It is essential to get rid of redundant data as it causes data inconsistency, making information unreliable for businesses to make decisions.
4. Reduces error and increases consistency
The occurrence of error was more in traditional file-based systems. To deal with this concern, the database was designed, which helped to reduce errors significantly, and increased the consistency of the data. Now, businesses don’t have to worry about data being updated only in one location, database updates them in all locations. Various methods are used to collect data which increases the chances of inconsistency, but with a database, data consistency can be ensured. And, data-driven decisions can be made successfully.
5. Reduces cost
The database helps businesses to detect and correct problems. In this way, problems are solved before they can become serious. The monitoring tools in the database discover security weaknesses. All these risks can incur massive costs, and the database helps to avoid them. In the database, the licensing costs are lower. The organization doesn’t have to pay for the entire license when they don’t need the full suite of features. Instead, they can use database tools to track the list of features they require and only pay for them.
Disadvantages of Database
The database system increases efficiency in organizations, but there are drawbacks to it. Now, let’s address the disadvantages of the database.
The database can be quite complex. This comes as no surprise, considering there are numerous tables involved with a bunch of attributes. The data relating to potential applications are stored and analyzed in a database so that it can also be used for future analysis. The system has been designed for comprehensiveness, thus there is complexity.
2. Start-up costs
The huge costs incurred are a stumbling block in the installation of the database. If you think, paying a huge amount in the beginning for its installation would be enough, then you are wrong. You can never really calculate the actual cost in the beginning, as with time other costs such as training and maintenance will come up. It’s not just the initial purchase, but the other expenses that come later make database setup expensive.
3. Risk of damage
Since the database is a one-stop for storing and managing all the information of the business, the damage caused to it can affect all the applications. It is at risk of physical damage as well as logical errors, causing data losses. Additionally, natural disasters can destroy its entire infrastructure. But, there is no need to worry, as disaster recovery combats these problems.
4. Substantial conversion costs
If you are planning to switch to a database system from your existing file-based system, then remember that the conversion costs will be extensive. But, the traditional file-based system is only suitable for small businesses. If your business is growing, it’s time to switch to a database system. It takes a few months to switch to a database system, and the cost incurred can feel like a pinch. Considering it stores and manages all the information of the business in one place, it is a suitable option, and profitable in long run.
5. Needs training
We discussed in the start-up costs section how there are training expenses. If a company is looking for training their existing staff in the database, then they will have to invest a lot in their training as it is fairly difficult to work with the database. On the other hand, if the company decides to get a technical team to handle the database, then they will have to pay well to them. In either case, the costs are incurred, and training cannot be neglected.