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The Power of Databases

 

Wrenches are the tools of choice to tighten nuts and bolts. There are other options, but they don't produce the same results. When it comes to handling information, databases are the most effective tool to store and process data.
 

Database applications allow management to have 'The State of the Union' at their fingertips, allowing them to focus their attention on hotspots as they emerge (i.e. long before they become a problem). Database applications can be designed to create 'exceptions only' reports, eliminating the need to work through pages of data before finding the critical ones.
 

With the built in logic, databases can prevent users from making wrong decisions (e.g. overbooking a bus in the case of a tour operator) or just flag critical cases for special attention (e.g. an order with an 'impossibly' short lead-time).

 

Depending on the application, databases allow you to process stored information into prioritized 'To Do' lists making sure everybody invests his/her precious time into the most important activity. These priority lists are always up to date as new information is immediately processed when entered.

 

Database applications can be designed to structure the processes that guide the inner workings of an organization. They enforce 'The Way Things Are Done', thus preventing e.g.:

  • missed or incomplete steps,
  • working with incomplete information (because the previous step is not concluded)

 

Once entered into a computer, the latest information is immediately available to all users without searching for paper files or depending on individual 'Cheat Sheets' that tend to be chronically outdated because information enters an organization through different venues.

 

While an organization  does its 'thing', the same information is used again and again. Databases can automate these occurrences with reports and documents based on data already entered, thus also eliminating transcription mistakes.

 

Last but not least, with the stored data all kinds of reports can be generated that help management in making better decisions, whether or not this specific evaluation was planned at the design time.


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Last updated: 02/25/08.