Relational Databases Are Worth Your Company’s Time and Money

Flat files are like a flat tire – they hold you back from getting to your destination. Your destination with data is organization and decision making. Flat file databases are a thing of the past because it makes it difficult to accurately log and track your data. Excels are the most common and widespread type of flat file. A relational database is more complex and permits data to be updated practically live for all users. It requires more expertise and advanced, pricey tools, but it ensures the most accurate data.

Let’s say you’re a small business owner. You’ll likely start with Excel or Google Sheets to track your data. Your business keeps expanding and you find it difficult to keep track of data. You have a hiccup with shipping and customers are calling to ask about their orders. Some customer’s orders don’t even appear because of improperly inputted data such as a name spelled incorrectly. It’s making your team work harder not smarter.

A relational database is ideal here because the data is better organized. You’d be able to fix that error and it’d be fixed throughout your database, not just that one spot you found that data. You can even delete unnecessary data too and it’d be reflected in the whole database as well. Also, you can determine and set the relationship between attributes and develop the appropriate dimensions and hierarchies. 

However, it becomes more complex and expensive to maintain. It can be tedious, especially with high volumes of data. However, it’s valuable to properly store data because it can provide insights for future business decisions. There’s no need to fret; there are options out there depending on the type of company and its scale. Enterprises can use systems like Oracle. Up and coming businesses can actually use free relational databases (Links to an external site.)

To better manage the influx of large amounts of data, multiple team members can be trained to input specific types of data. Be mindful that relational databases have security restrictions to protect the information, so only key members should be trained for this data entry task.

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