Management Information System: Databases Concepts

Traditional forms of data storage

The database has been seen as one form of data storage. The database is replacing old methods of data storage which have been used by businesses from time immemorial. The availability of traditional forms of data storage eliminates situations where it is a necessity for a business to have a database for the purposes of data storage.

Some of the traditional forms of storage data include using a file system or storage of data directly in a computer. Businesses using traditional forms of data storage face challenges of maintaining data security. This comes in the place where anyone within the office can access data stored on files without any restriction. Storage of historical data on changes of files is not stored. This happens in a business where people are not employed to keep track of files.

In the traditional forms of data storage businesses will have problems on data sharing. Files held within one department cannot be used by another department without physically moving them. The next department requiring the file will have to wait till the other department completes using the files.

The traditional forms of data storage do not provide flexibility to business owners on data storage. To make changes to the data one will be required to rub or print another copy of the same document. This nonflexibility makes them costly modes of data storage. The use of the database would have required accessing the required data and carrying out the changes without any extra cost. The changes made on data are saved while keeping information on the person who carried out the changes in the data for auditing purposes. The changes in the database can be rolled back in the future if the need arises.

Management issues on the use of database

The management has to develop policies on who can access, change and insert data in the database. The policy is supposed to divide users within the organization to different user groups with different access levels to the database. Policies are put in place to ensure unauthorized people do not have access to the database. The administrator within a database can give certain users rights and at the same time revoke them.

Quality of data within a database ensures generated reports within the database are correct. The management within the organization is supposed to ensure the data is keyed in correct formats. The data keyed in a certain column within the database should resemble the defined data type.

Once data is keyed into the database ways of cleansing should be developed. The cleansing of the data involves correcting any incorrect and faulty data. The cleansing process should be carried out by people who have editing rights. This ensures malicious people do not make changes to the database trying to hide certain illegal activities.

Auditing of the database should be carried out on repeated and regular periods. The auditor should establish what data has been changed within the database and who carried out the changes. Auditing will ensure the integrity of data stored within the database by identifying incorrect information and suggesting changes.

Data governance will establish how data should be handled within the institution. Data governance involves establishing the database environment to be used and putting in place the required infrastructure. The governance will control who access the servers where critical organization data is stored. Governance of data requires employing people who have knowledge of running databases.

References

Kenneth C., Laudon and Jane P. (2008).Management Information Systems: Managing The Digital Firms 12th edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.