Before discussing databases in great detail, it’s important to understand the difference between raw data and information. Data by itself is not particularly useful until it’s presented in a specific context. Consider a web site that sells motorcycle parts. Throughout a particular business day, customers access this website and place their orders for miscellaneous parts and they do this by referencing online catalogs and completing web forms. The customer information is collected on each individual order and stored in a database as raw data. If the owner came in the next day and looked at all the information stored within the sale price field, this data by itself own would not be particularly useful. It would simply be a long list of random dollar figures. However, if the owner designed a query that looked at that same data which also included all of the customers who ordered the previous day in the State of Florida, this would present more useful information for the business owner. This is an example of processing and converting raw data into information.
Database technology has evolved over time and as a result of this, there are now a variety of not only different database applications from companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, but also different type of databases types that can be utilized. Each type of database has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on such things as data complexity, hardware capacity, and number of users, organizations will employ a database that can be supported by a single user (single user database), a few users (multiuser database), or even users of fifty or more (enterprise database). One popular choice for database construction is Microsoft Access. However despite its overall consumer popularity, it does have its limitations as it doesn’t support an enterprise environment. Because of this, a Microsoft Access database would most likely be utilized within a single user or workgroup environment (Coronel, Morris, & Rob, 2013, p. 9).
It’s also important to remember that the database does not function on its own and must rely upon other components of the overall database environment to actually function. Once such component is the database