DATA: Raw facts; that is , facts that have not yet been processed to reveal their meaning to the end user
INFORMATION: Facts (data) that are arranged in meaningful patterns. Information consists of transformed data and facilitates decision making.
What is a database?
- Instead of storing the same data in many files, data can be structured (in tables) in a database, a collection of (usually) related data tables
- When an application needs specific data it can be retrieved from the database
- Example: Personnel, Sales, Accounting dept
- Sometimes referred to as a Repository of facts
- The database is part of a larger whole known as an Information System (IS).
- The IS provides for data collection, storage, and retrieval.
- It also facilitated the transformation of data into information and the management of both the data and the information.
Why use a database?
- Data constitutes the building blocks of Information (Information is produced by processing data)
- No decision activity should take place without information
- Good, relevant and timely information is the key to good decision making
- Good decision making is the key to organizational survival in a global environment
- Database is shared, integrated computer structure housing:
- End user data
- Database Management System (DBMS)
- Manages Database structure
- Controls access to data
- Contains query language
Importance of DBMS
- Makes data management more efficient and effective
- Query language allows quick answers to ad hoc queries
- Provides better access to more and better-managed data
- Promotes integrated view of organization’s operations
- Reduces the probability of inconsistent data
Historical roots of database
- First applications focused on clerical tasks
- Requests for information quickly followed
- File systems developed to address needs
- Data organized according to expected use
- Data Processing (DP) specialists computerized manual file systems
- Raw Facts
- Group of characters with specific meaning
- Logically connected fields that describe a person, place, or thing
- Collection of related records