Technical Foundations of Database
Fundamental Data Concepts
REAL WORLD CHALLENGE: U.S. Xpress—Lots of
Data, Not Enough Quality
Managing Data Resources
Data Resource Management
Types of Databases
Data Warehouses and Data Mining
Traditional File Processing
The Database Management Approach
C H APTE R H I GH L I GH TS
L E AR NI NG OBJECT I VES
5-1 Explain the business value of implementing data
resource management processes and technologies in an organization. 5-2 Outline the advantages of a database management approach to managing the data resources of a business, compared with a file processing
5-3 Explain how database management software
helps business professionals and supports the
operations and management of a business.
5-4 Provide examples to illustrate each of the
a. Major types of databases.
b. Data warehouses and data mining.
c. Logical data elements.
d. Fundamental database structures.
e. Database development.
REAL WORLD SOLUTION: U.S. Xpress—Data Quality
Drives Millions in Savings
REAL WORLD CASE: Beyond Street Smarts:
Data-Driven Crime Fighting
REAL WORLD CASE: Duke University Health
System, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and
Others: Medical IT Is Getting Personal
of Database Management
Just imagine how difficult it would be to get any information from an information system if data were stored in an unorganized way or if there were no systematic way to retrieve them. Therefore, in all information systems, data resources must be organized and structured in some logical manner so that they can be accessed easily, processed efficiently, retrieved quickly, and managed effectively. Data structures and access methods ranging from simple to complex have been devised to organize and access data stored by information systems efficiently. In this chapter, we will explore these concepts, as well as the managerial implications and value of data resource management. See Figure 5.1. It is important to appreciate the value of understanding databases and database management from the beginning. In today’s world, just about every piece of data you would ever want to access is organized and stored in some type of database. The question is not so much “Should I use a database?” but rather “What database should I use?” Although many of you will not choose a career in the design of databases, all of you will spend a large portion of your time, in whatever job you choose, accessing data in a myriad of databases. Most database developers consider accessing the data to be the business end of the database world; understanding how data are structured, stored, and accessed can help business professionals gain greater strategic value from their organization’s data resources.
Read the Real World Challenge on U.S. Xpress, a major trucking company. We can learn a lot from this case about the challenges presented by the lack of quality data.
Before we go any further, let’s discuss some fundamental concepts about how data are organized in information systems. A conceptual framework of several levels of data has been devised that differentiates among different groupings, or elements, of data. Thus, data may be logically organized into characters, fields, records, files, and databases, just as writing can be organized into letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and documents. Examples of these logical data elements are shown in Figure 5.2.
The most basic logical data element is the character, which consists of a single alphabetic, numeric, or other symbol. You might argue that the bit or byte is a more elementary...
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