Database Management Simplify Your Work and Personal Life
A database management system is a software tool for your PC, Mac or mobile device that helps you organize your business, organization or personal life.
A database management system lets you organize any type of information, including:
- People, like your customers, employees, students, homeowners' association, or hiking club.
- Projects, like staff assessment, introducing a new product, remodeling your office, or maintaining your car.
- Assets, like inventory or your wine collection
- Images, like product photos, scanned drawings or videos.
The information you store in your database management system can be in the form of text, photos, PDF files, sound files, illustrations-pretty much any information you can store on your computer.
How is database management software different than a spreadsheet?
Database management software and spreadsheets may seem similar but there are important differences.
A spreadsheet excels at number crunching, not at database management. Spreadsheets let you change a number such as an interest rate and see what impact it has on other numbers. Which is fine; however, some people mis-use spreadsheets as their database management system to hold lists, such as project schedule, inventory lists, or contact information.
Answer questions and solve problems. A database management system lets you ask, "Which customers who live in California have not placed an order in more than three months?" "Who has ordered Game A but not Game B?" "Which hike leaders have led the Castlewood Park hike?" "What are the similarities and differences in performance between fourth and fifth graders?"
Link related data. Say you manage a fitness club with different membership types. If you keep each member's monthly fee in a spreadsheet, you have to manually update the fees whenever you change them. With a database management system, you can create one table that includes the member's name and membership type, and link it to another table that links membership types to fees. Then you can just change the fee in one place. This is called a relational database.
View your data in different ways. Database management systems let you view your data in lists, tables, or attractive forms that can resemble your paper forms.
Link to information on the web or in other company databases. If your database has a shipping number field, for example, you can show realtime shipping status from the FedEx website.
Share data with others. You can share your data with other people in your organization, customers, and business partners. One way is to create a web database.
How do you use a database management system?
There are three basic steps involved in using a database management system:
- Create a database. Every database management system lets you start from scratch. Easy databases let you start from templates or existing spreadsheets. Some Mac databases let you start from iCal Tasks and Events and Address Books.
- Design on-screen forms where you'll enter and view your data.
- Use your database management system to store your information, ask your questions about it, generate reports and mailing labels, send emails, and more.
What background do I need to use a database management system?
The first database management systems required specialized expertise to set up. Today you can find easy database management systems that make it easy to create a database, even if you haven't tried it before. For almost any business or personal project, a database management system helps you spend less time managing the details, and more time managing your business.