Database design is an essential part of most organizations that use a website for sales and customer service. Databases provide an easy way to access, update and manipulate data, but they have to be designed properly to be as efficient as possible. Here is an overview of database design, as well as information on what to expect if you decide to pursue an MBA in business analytics.
Databases – The Basics
In a nutshell, a database is a method of collecting data in an organized manner, according to Techopedia. Companies use databases to store and access information, typically through a database management system.
Databases are critical to websites — particularly those that offer search functions. When a user searches for something, the site converts the search term to a query. The database server then processes the query.
Databases are used in a wide variety of industries, each of which needs its own specific type of database design. A retail store, for example, will need a database that keeps track of inventory. A manufacturer will use a database designed to store inventory information that users can access quickly. Libraries use them so that personnel will know which books have been checked out. The applications are nearly endless.
But a database is only as good as its design.
Why Database Design Is so Important
Database design involves making a database functional and determining how all of the parts work together.
On its own, a database is merely a repository of raw facts. It takes good design to turn it into something that is not only valuable but also easy to use. Poor design can lead to slow queries, which cause frustration for the database user. Poor design hinders access to critical information.
Studying Database Design
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) students pursuing an MBA with a Business Analytics Specialization will learn database design in depth. Here are some of the components of the SIUE database design program.
Enterprise-wide data model: This is a database design model that provides a wide-ranging view of all the data a company uses.
Entity-relationship model: This form of database design takes into account certain aspects of a business (a company’s products), the attributes of those entities (the name and cost of the product), and their relationship to one another.
For example, this model could be used by human resources to sort data into tables. The columns could show attributes such as pay rates of employees. The rows of the tables could then refer to a specific employee.
Physical database design: Physical database design involves creating a blueprint of how data will be structured and how it will relate to a specific database management system.
Normalization theory: Undergirding the most efficient way to organize data, normalization theory eliminates redundant data. It not only improves user experience, but it also helps reduce the amount of database server space.
Studying database design can be a complex undertaking, but many MBA students find the experience provides a major career boost.