May 26, 2022

How to Choose a Database Management System for Your Business

Increasing demand for storing and managing data efficiently in organizations is a key factor driving the growth of the database management systems industry. According to a MarketWatch report, the global database management software market value will reach $125.6 billion between 2022 and 2026. Today’s businesses, both small and large, rely on data to succeed in their respective industries. However, without well-designed databases, it’s easy to ignore and misinterpret business data.

The right database system provides more than a repository to meet the day-to-day data management needs of your business. Ideal databases offer storage, analytics, security, and accessibility to ensure data is available whenever the user group needs it. While there are many database management systems out there, choosing the right reference data management software, network database, or object-oriented database can be challenging. Read on to learn how to choose a perfect database management solution for your business.

Think About Your Data Model

Before selecting a database management system, you must determine your data model. You can pick the relational or SQL database concept or the NoSQL model. Note that the model you choose will depend on the data structure you have. Therefore, ask yourself if the data available can reflect easily in relational (structured data) databases or do you need to work with unstructured data (NoSQL).

Also, factor in how you work with data and the steps you take to retrieve it. For instance, let’s say you want to assess hierarchical data in sequence files. You’ll notice your analysis will be faster and easier on a NoSQL database than in a relational model. Businesses have been using relational databases for decades, meaning they have a long history. As a result, you can find commercial relational database management systems (RDBMS) easily. On the other hand, NoSQL databases have gained popularity recently and are easy to find as open-source software. Other types of database management systems include object-oriented database, centralized database, and distributed database.

Understand DBMS Functionality

It’s impossible to make the right choice without understanding your business needs and functions of different DBMS. With that said, decide if you want to purchase a simple point or a suite of database management tools, depending on your business needs. For example, if you’re running a small business, you may choose simple database management tools to enhance your database workflow. Simple DBMS tools connect more than one database, edit information in table view format, and export results in different formats.

Other database management system functionality aspects worth considering include data insights and analysis, data extraction and filtering, and results visualization. Large suites of database management tools have advanced features like real-time performance assessment, optimization, automation, and query APIs that collect data and generate reports.

Choose Between Cloud or Onsite Database

It’s also imperative to determine if your database will be in the cloud or onsite. There are many benefits of using cloud-based database management solutions, such as cost savings, elasticity, scalability, and ease of use. A cloud-based database is ideal if you have limited data storage space or have a mobile workforce. You may also choose cloud-based databases if you handle sensitive data or lack enough finances to manage data onsite.

Having an onsite database is an excellent choice if you want to have full control of your business data. The only downside is that you’ll need to spend more money on additional data management personnel and buying software licenses. Not to mention you’ll be in charge of your network security, including data encryption that complies with website standards.

Look at Usability

Another consideration when shopping for database management systems is how user-friendly your preferred option will be for your employees. In most cases, database management tools offer drag-and-drop procedures that create room for creativity in the workplace. But regardless of how intuitive your system works, ensure it’s usable for your team. Ideally, your database management software should feature an easy-to-use user interface and understandable query language. That way, your team members, be it database admins, IT personnel, or marketers, should use your database management software efficiently.

For example, let’s say your preferred database is MariaDB and your team’s project entails creating referential integrity between two tables. Your team should be able to add foreign key in MariaDB. Since MariaDB website provides useful tips on how to create multiple columns and foreign keys, teams can manage data using syntax with ease. With this in mind, always search for databases that are easy to work with. Remember, the easier your database management system is, the lower your data management costs will be for your organization.

User Control

Once you’ve evaluated your database management system’s suitability for all your employees, decide if you can establish permission settings for different personnel or user groups. If you’re managing a small team, you’ll need one or two database administrators or engineers. This means a single database management software license is enough for a small group of workers to share. In such instances, setting high detailed access control would be unnecessary.

If you run a midsize or an enterprise-level business, you probably manage two or three teams that require unlimited access to various tools integrated into database management systems. For example, your sales team will need quarterly revenue statistics in a well-designed format. Engineers want a query-building integrated development environment (IDE), while database admins need insights into uptime and performance. With that said, choose a database management system with access control capabilities to help you streamline data storage, interpretation, and sharing.

Data Security

The success of any business depends a lot on data availability. That’s why it’s vital to ensure data is available all the time. Your business information should also be secure to avoid data breaches that might hurt your bottom line. So, make an effort to implement effective data security practices, including data backup and encryption. Your IT experts should also create a data management framework to enhance data security.

Choosing the database management solution for your business is vital to streamlining your data storage, analytics, and security. The problem is that with so many database management systems, picking a suitable one can be challenging. However, you can make a wise decision if you choose a database that fits your data model, know the functionality of your database management system, consider data security and usability, and storage options.

About the author 

Kyrie Mattos

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