Database Management Simplify your work and personal life

Database management systems are software tools for your PC, Mac or mobile device that help you organise your business, organisation or personal life.

Database Management

Database management systems let you organise any type of information, including:

  • People; customers, employees, students, homeowners' association, walking club…
  • Projects; staff assessment, refurbishing your office, introducing a new product, car maintenance…
  • Assets; company stock, personal wine collection…
  • Images; product photos, scanned drawings, videos…

The information stored 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 to 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 misuse spreadsheets as their database management system for holding lists such as project schedules, stock lists or contact information.

database management

Link related data. Say you manage a gym 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.

Answer questions and solve problems

Answer questions and solve problems. A database management system will let you ask, "Which customers who live in London have not placed an order in more than three months?", "Who has ordered Game A but not Game B?", "Which walk leaders have led the Chilterns Ridgeway walk?", "What are the similarities and differences in performance between year 7 and year 11 pupils?"

Link to information on the web or in other company databases

Link to information on the web or in other company databases. For example, if your database has a tracking number field you can show realtime delivery status information from the courier's website.

Share data with others

Share data with others. You can share your data with other people in your organisation, customers and business partners. One way is to create a web database.

View your data in different ways

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.

How do you use a database management system?

There are three basic steps involved in using a database management system:

  1. Create a database. All database management systems let you start from scratch. Easy databases let you start from templates or existing spreadsheets. Some Mac databases let you start from iCal Tasks, Events and Address Books.
  2. Design on‐screen forms where you'll enter and view your data.
  3. Use your database management system to store your information, ask your questions about it, generate reports, print mailing labels, send emails and more.

What skills do I need to use a database management system?

The first database management systems required specialised expertise to set up. Today you can find easy database management systems that make it easy to create databases, 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.

Here are some next steps:

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