You may be considering sourcing a database management system (DBMS) in order to handle all your various data sources and updates. However, simply choosing a database system is rarely a straightforward thing to do. It can be complex, especially if the process involves numerous teams and personnel, or trying to  find the right product that meets your needs.

However, they are becoming increasingly essential to the functioning of businesses. Databases have the ability to hold entire IT systems, carrying out thousands of transactions each and every day, customer data, holding important business intelligence, and there are now a number of products available on the market that differ in terms of price, performance and functionality.

Given that the type of technology that you choose for your business tends to be both a considerably expensive investment and also is likely to have a significant impact on the quality of the service you provide we take a look at the main things you should look out for when it comes to choosing a database, to help you with the process.

What sort of database software programs are available to choose from?

The following mentioned below are some of the best-known on the market, including:

  • ADABAS
  • Oracle RDBMS
  • QuickBase
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySQL
  • IBM DB2
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel

Functionality

Before making the final decision on a database, it is important to take into account that the modules available in the data analysis software meets your business needs. The modules you are likely to need to look for include:

  • Automation
  • ROI management
  • Results visualisation
  • Forecasting strategy
  • Segmentation and modelling
  • Insight and analysis
  • Campaign planning

Cost

Evidently, the cost will be a factor when choosing a database, but this also relates to its functionality. You want to make sure the software you have chosen meets your business requirements in order to not waste a considerable amount of money. Similarly, do not necessarily decide to choose the most expensive software available with every possible thing you could possibly need for a database, if in reality, you wouldn’t need much of the functionality it provides.

Security

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a database is to ensure that every measure is taken to ensure that data is secure. Whether it be things taking into consideration worst case scenarios such  as the potential physical risk involved with data through a fire, or what would happen to business intelligence if there was a hack: would it be protected from loss or theft? Does the database also adhere to regulations in place? You need to take into account any potentials risks that could be incurred from hacking, or even unintentional corruption of data through human error.

Hosting

Where you host the system could well have implications for other aspects of the company’s functionality, such as security, speed and potentially additional cost. You need to figure out whether to take the system in-house or decide to ask a company to host the software system for you as well as hosting the data.

The future of databases

All signs are pointing to AI (artificial intelligence) as the future of database technology, using technology from the likes of Grakn.

Elsewhere, the UK is looking to create one extra level of security and encryption for all users on a database. As part of new data protection laws known as General Data Protection Regulation, one of the potential policies is that the names of users are listed as numbers on a database. This means that in the event of hacking, the individual’s personal information still remains anonymous to any thieves and the public.