Amazingly, 25 years ago, the only people who spoke of Databases (DB) were the IT folks. They were perceived within large enterprises, not just as geeks but as business gurus. They held the secret formulas, some sort of modern day sorcerers.
Over time, the variety of databases available has diversified. Databases infiltrated the universe of many different departments of businesses; be it the Sales Force with its CRM, Human Resources (HR) with a homemade Access application, the Finance department with their multitude of Excel sheets (even if strictly speaking, they’re not really databases, it must be pointed out that Excel still manages the largest amount of data stored globally), Production and Purchasing with their ERP, etc. And that’s without counting the best years of Visual FoxPro, which has been replaced by SQL, Oracle and many others…
Since that time, we have bandied about the term across levels of business, for example: “I think we have that into our Database”
Good evening, tonight on Discovery: The Adventures of Databases…
Strangely, although today data is utilised throughout all levels within a company. The sentiment still exists that only IT people really understand the importance of data, and yet, they don’t necessarily see the potential because it’s not their role or expertise: promoting the value of information within the company!
These data warehouses, built by anyone and everyone, are often poorly designed and difficult to maintain or evolve. A design error when creating your “data container” may cost you thousands of dollars.
Similarly, data security is extremely fragile in business, often at risk whether it be financial data or personal customer information, this information is often all too easily accessible by too great a number of employees within the company. Moreover, it’s frequent for much of this data to end up on mobile devices, be it laptops or smartphones, which greatly increases the vulnerability of your business.
Once again, over time, several systems have been created within companies, but they almost always work in isolation, no systemic integration is planned, nor is there functionally between systems. Therefore a company very often holds the same information in several places, which inevitably results in a problem of data integrity and consistency of information that could have expensive repercussions that can be difficult to evaluate.
One example: the underutilization of data. It’s not uncommon for a department to possess data of great value to a business at a policy level. But the lack of expertise can leave this precious data dormant, never to be put to good use.
The moral of the story
When you think about your business development through application development or optimization of your processes. You cannot neglect the backup data and must remember to plan for the integration of your data to capitalize on its usage.
Remember that Databases are not just the core of your company’s business reality and processes; they are the heart of it! Your productivity will always commence with a well-structured and well-designed database (or end with a bad…). Your applications will evolve, change, and migrate but your data, that… that will always remain.
In short, applications come and go but the data remains the same… I think someone made a song about this?
Have a great week,