How is your business doing? This is a question that all businesses need to ask of themselves. Some businesses only ask it monthly, quarterly or on an annual basis. Other businesses may ask it more frequently, such as hourly, by the minute or even by the second. Presentation of this information can come via tools like aggregate data on a dashboard, pre-stylized reports or ad-hoc queries. All of these tools are byproducts of having a vibrant database. In today’s computing environment, having a cloud database is just as easy as having one on-premise at your business’ location.
What is a Database?
A database is a productivity software application that allows you to organize your relevant information.
Example – All of the names and numbers that you have saved as your contacts on your mobile are representative of a database. Just like a listing of all the things that you purchased in the last 90 days from sites like Amazon are also stored in a database. Whether a local/on-premise, cloud or distributed database, some of the features that you may find in a database are:
- SQL or NoSQL formatting depending on how you query
- Reporting tools
- Ability to connect to other software, APIs and web services
Database as a Service
Database as a Service (DBaaS) is a subscription-based pricing model from software providers that allow you to utilize a cloud-based version of their database software. The traditional method for using this type of software involves having to go out and purchase the installation software DVD. Also, download the files from the software provider’s website, and then, configure your computers and/or servers in preparation for installing.
Instead, with DBaaS, all of these steps, and even future steps of maintenance, configuration, and optimization, are handled for you by just logging into the provider’s website and using the database software there. Besides that, subscribing to a database as a service offering allows you to gain access to a database at a lower cost than an outright purchase of that same database under the traditional methodology. This means that a growing business can experience some cost savings in the near-term.
Importance of a Good Database for Growing Your Business
As your growing business does its daily operations, it requires that you, as the business owner, perform periodic analysis as to its performance. The basis for these analytics lies within your database. In addition to the dashboards, reports or ad-hoc queries mentioned above, the information from your database can also be exported to other software applications, like Excel/Google Sheets or a word processing program (such as Word or Google Docs).
Additionally, depending on the nature of your business, your database becomes your main electronic repository for information. That information could be of varied forms or used for different purposes, such as patient records in a medical office, all the filings in a legal case, or even, all the videos that are available via your website. The true use of a good database provides endless possibilities for any growing business.
For any business, having a database is a necessity. However, for a business looking to grow or desiring success, a database that is properly used means an effective and critical tool for going forward. Your database, when used correctly, quickly becomes a very effective tool when seeking insight into your operations. Whether as a cloud database/distributed database, or on-premises, using a database’s features and tools will help any growing business gain efficiencies and operational enhancements.