Today, we will clearly define the advantages of database management systems. We will focus mainly on the advantages for end users across different company departments. These people know they need to automate business processes for more efficient operations, but lack the understanding of how databases work, and how they may benefit from them.
First, what is a database?
It is not an exaggeration to say that information is the lifeblood of all organizations today. A database, in simple words, is a collection of information organized in a table, like an Excel Sheet. While simple, it plays a huge role in all aspects of information flow and operations in a company. Examples of commonly used database applications are:
- POS for sales data
- CRM for customer data
- ERP for processes and inventory data
- Project Management
- Contact directories
- Business Intelligence for market data
And what about a database management system?
A database management system is a software meant to create, manage, store, and and automate information flows. It allows users to input data through a form (a.k.a an interface) that can be visualized in tables or dashboards. Further, rules can be created for how this data flows from one table to another, and how it is organized. These systems are basically used to let companies build their own applications to manage their processes, saving time and resources for development.
The best example of a database management system is probably Microsoft Access, which has been widely adopted by organizations worldwide. However, Access has declined in popularity due in recent times with the advent of the cloud and mobility, and because of new providers in the ecosystem. Companies are migrating to more friendly and flexible alternatives, or simply because they disagree with the Microsoft Access product roadmap.
Advantages for IT departments
- Data redundancy: all data is centralized. There is no need to duplicate inputs, records or processes.
- Faster time of development: By leveraging database systems, IT departments can easily automate processes saving their organization tens of thousands of dollars in custom application development, or purchasing expensive applications from specialized vendors.
Advantages for HR departments
HR departments need to constantly handle employee data. Some HR processes and tasks that can be handled by database applications are hiring, internal communications, and training. Some specific applications:
- Job applications and new hires
- Leave and absence requests
- Attendance Tracking
- Internal contacts databases
- Employee HRMS
Advantages for marketing and sales teams
As the competition becomes more aggressive and customers more exigent, there is a clear need for automation in Sales and Marketing departments. This is why marketing and sales teams processes rely on different sets of applications – from leads collection (marketing), to closing deals (sales), through providing support (customer service). Some ideas of database applications that benefit Sales and Marketing:
- Brainstorming idea submissions
- Lead capture
- Customer contact forms
- Website visitor quizzes
- Market research surveys
- Buyer questionnaires
- Client satisfaction surveys
- Customer orders
Advantages for project management teams
Project Management is not a separate entity or department, but essential to efficient operations and letting managers handle their teams. The less automation in operations and project execution, the more bureaucratic and slow a company is in reacting to market changes.
Some of the common database applications to optimize project performance are:
- Assignment tracker
- Task management
- To-do lists
- Document libraries
Choosing a database management system provider