Databases are not just resources that large organizations rely on to store and analyze the reams of information they generate; small businesses can also be perfectly poised to harness this type of technology.
Indeed from the point of view of architecture and design firms, having access to a database can be considered essential in the digital era. For newcomers, here is a look at what such a setup can do for your operation.
Before exploring the more complex aspects of managing and maintaining a database, such as troubleshooting blocking in SQL and boosting performance through query optimization, it is important to establish what a database is and what function it serves in a business context.
In short, it is a repository for whatever data you might need to house to help your organization run as smoothly as possible. This can be contact information relating to your clients, an overview of your inventory of hardware harnessed by your employees, sales reports assessing your success over time and almost anything else you can imagine.
Crucially, a database is more than just a simple spreadsheet; it is built around the idea that data needs to be easy to access, transform, transport and adapt.
There are a few different database platforms available to consider, some of which are open source and thus free to use for those with the knowhow and others of which are priced at a premium but come with robust support infrastructures, cutting edge capabilities and baked-in security.
Many are reliant on SQL language, which is integral to relational database management systems. Lots of major platforms harness this for data storage purposes, with Microsoft’s SQL Server ecosystem and Oracle’s MySQL being two of the most prominent examples, albeit taking different approaches to pricing and availability.
The interesting thing about databases is that whether or not you have actively taken steps to procure one for your small design or architecture business, you may already be making use of one in some form or another.
This is because databases are integral to a wide variety of web-based applications and platforms which are provided by third party operators to businesses and individual users alike.
The upshot is that you may not need to run your own SQL server in-house, particularly if you lack the technical nous or budget to do so. Instead you can effectively outsource this to a vendor that is perfectly equipped for storing and managing your data.
In fact there are lots of other advantages to offloading the responsibilities of running a database to another firm, as it will make it easier for you to prepare to face cybersecurity threats and could also help you to avoid future costs associated with hardware upgrades and networking, to name just two perks.
Whichever route you take, recognizing the benefits offered by databases sooner rather than later is sensible, since your ability to store and process information will only increase as time passes.