A Database Management System is a system software that is used to manage organizations data and simultaneously used in supporting various users when creating, managing, retrieving, updating and storing of information into the system (Prabhjot, Sharma, 2017). This software plays an important role among other Information Management Systems by maintaining the database schema that is used in defining the database architecture. Additionally, this software provides three functional units that include data security, integrity, and concurrency (Prabhjot, Sharma, 2017).
DMBS in one way or the other, it is applied in many functions of a firm in managing data from various sources thus providing a reliable manageability and accountability. According to Catania, et al., (2014) the main function of a firm having a secure database is to ensure accountability and making predictions.
Structure of a Database Management system
There are four types of DBMS systems according to their structure namely:
Hierarchical database DBMS
This type of DBMS model contains data or records inform a tree structure and it implies that the data contains relationships. The advantage of this type is that it is simple and easy to access and update (Prabhjot, Sharma, 2017).
The network databases are a bit complex as compared to hierarchical one and they have more connections between different types of data. They are more efficient when deriving relationship between complex data (Prabhjot, Sharma, 2017).
These types of a database contain data with a relational relationship and they connect data in diverse files through a shared data numbers or a key. Relational databases again are easier to use and entries are made without affecting the entire system (Prabhjot, Sharma, 2017).
These types of databases contain more than storage by having programming functionality such as java and C++. The advantage of using this model is because it can house a large capacity of data with the ability to mix and match. They are again expensive to develop and implement for a company (Prabhjot, Sharma, 2017).
According to -----, the performance of DBMS is based on its distinct characteristics that are also the benefits of this software to the user and to the company as well. The software in one way provides access of the data to the user and in the way protects the data. A schematic structure of how DBMS operates is illustrated below.
Fig1. (Prabhjot, Sharma, 2017)
The characteristics and benefits of DBMS to the firm are:
Storage of any data
The DBMS can store any data, and it is not constrained to specific departments of types of data such transactions, names, and address. This software will, therefore, support all departments in data storage, editing, and retrieval (Catania, et al., 2014).
Supporting ACID properties
The programs provided by DBMS can support ACID (Accuracy, Completeness, Isolation, and Durability). The DBMS makes sure that there are no duplicates, loss of data during various transactions, and mismatch of information. Additionally, the stored data is also up to date Catania, et al., 2014).
Exemplifies complex association between data
Information stored in the database is associated with each other, and an association is established to enhance the accurate application of data. For instance, data stored in one department can be useful to another (Catania, et al., 2014).
Backup and recovery
Chances of database failure are present in the firm, and this may lead to a big loss. Departments such as sales, information technology, and operations require a reliable backup and recovery system (Catania, et al., 2014). The DBMS software will, therefore, provide a backup and recovery option.
Integrity is a key characteristic of a DBMS, and it guarantees the quality and reliability of database programs. It protects the data by denying access by the unauthorized user thus making it secure. Additionally, it offers consistency and accuracy to the database (Catania, et al., 2014).
Concurrent access to database
In the firm, there are chances that many users access the database at the same time. The DBMS software supports all users concurrently regardless of their usage without limitation (Catania, et al., 2014). Departments, therefore, can access similar data or even adding updates to the data.
Structures and organized data
Another important feature of DBMS is organizing data in structures with definitions that are easy to understand. The structures also depict the relationship between these data thus providing easier applications (Catania, et al., 2014).
Implementation of DBMS as one of the information management systems in the firm will therefore help various departments in reducing complexities of other systems under central control and enhance data management, access, security and utilization. This will also mitigate data redundancy and inconsistencies such as duplications. More advantages of implementing this IMS are: provision of central control of data, reduction of costs associated with program development and maintenance, providing flexible information systems, and increasing access and availability of data.
Decision support system
Decision support system (DSS) is one of the information management systems that are used to support business, and it is used in decision-making activities (Chau, Cao, Anson, & Zhang, 2009). The system can assemble beneficial information using raw data, personal knowledge, and other business models when making decisions. The system is useful especially for the sales and reservation departments of a company, and it is widely used in business and management. It gathers information by accessing information from different sources such as data warehouse, data marts, and relational data sources. Another way of decision-making by this software is through comparing sales figures between two durations and planning revenue figures from new product sales assumptions (Dawotola, Van-Gelder, & Vrijling, 2011).
The DSS has three main objectives for the management system in firm that include: To increase the effectiveness of the managers decision-making process, support the process without replacing it and improving effectiveness of directors decision-making process (Bohanec, Cestnik, & Rajkovic, 2006). Implementation of the information management system has advantages such as enhancing effectiveness, improving interpersonal communication, competitive advantage and cost reduction. Additionally, the system increase decision makers satisfaction, promotes learning and refining personal efficiency.
There are various taxonomies of DSS according to different authors. The common taxonomy by Dan Power provides fives types:
Communication driven DSS
This type of DSS targets the internal teams in a firm as well as partners, and its core purpose is to help in conducting a meeting or supporting user collaboration. Examples are the prompt messaging software and net-meeting systems (Liu, Young, & Ding, 2011).
The Data-driven DSS target the management team, staff, and other parties associated with the company. They are used to question a data warehouse when seeking for explicit answers meant for a distinct purpose.
The above DSSs are the most common and user groups use them. The core purpose of these systems is to search web pages to find documents using definite search terms.
They are also referred to as knowledgebase and commonly used in a number of systems that include firm officials and others who interact with the organization such as consumers (Liu, Young, & Ding, 2011). They are widely used in providing management advice and selecting products or services.
These are complex systems that are used to analyze decisions selecting between various options. They can be utilized by staff, managers of the firm or other people interacting with the business for decision analyses.
The characteristics and benefits of the company or organization for implementing DSS include: facilitation of specific decision-making activities, enhancing interaction between staff users or decision makers and improvement of accuracy, quality, and timeliness. DSSs also support individual and group decision-making to all users and offers flexible features that are altered depending on the need (Liu, Young, & Ding, 2011).
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