What is an Enterprise Database?

Data are the raw material from which information is produced. Therefore, it is not surprising that in today’s information-driven environment, data are a valuable asset that requires careful management. To access data’s monetary value, data that stored in company database are data about customers, suppliers, inventory, and operations and so on. Imagine that all the data in the database loss. What will happen if the situation like that happen? Data loss puts any company in a difficult position. The company might be unable to handle daily operation effectively; it might be faced with the loss of customers who require quick and efficient service, and it might lose the opportunity to gain new customers.

Data are a valuable resource that can translate into information. If the information is accurate and timely, it is likely to trigger action that enhance the company’s competitive position and generate wealth. In effect, an organization is subject to a data information decision cycle; that is the data user applies intelligence to data to produce information that is the basis of knowledge used in decision making by the user.

To manage data as a corporate asset, managers must understand the value of information that is processed data. Data are used by different people in different departments for different reasons. Therefore, data management must address the concept of shared data. Whatever the type of organization, the database predominant role is to support managerial decision making at all level in the organization.

The company’s database is also known as the corporate or enterprise database. The enterprise database might be defined as “the company’s data representation that provides support for all present and expected future operations.” Most of today’s successful organization depends on the enterprise database to provide support for all of their operations from design to implementation to sales and services and from strategic planning to daily decision making. Having a computerized database management system does not guarantee that the data will be properly used to provide the best solution required by managers. A DBMS is just a tool for managing data and must be used effectively to produce the desired result.

The introduction of a DBMS represents a big change and challenge. Throughout the organization, the DBMS is likely to have a profound impact, which might be positive or negative depending on how it administered. For example, one key consideration is adapting the DBMS to the organization rather than forcing the organization to adapt to the DBMS. The main issues should be the organization’s needs rather than the DBMS’s technical capabilities. However, the introduction of a DBMS cannot be accomplished without affecting the organization. The flood of new DBMS generated information has a profound effect on the way the organization functions and, therefore, on its corporate culture.

The introduction of a DBMS into an organization requires careful planning to create an appropriate organizational structure to accommodate the person or people responsible for administering the DBMS. The organizational structure must also be subject to well developed monitoring and controlling functions. The administration personnel must have excellent interpersonal and communication skill combined with broad organizational and business understanding. Top management must be committed to the new system and must define and support the data administration functions, goals, and roles within the organization and that also the need of SISP in an organization.  Strategic information system planning (SISP) is the process of creating a portfolio based on the use of information system in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives.

In the database development process, there have importance elements in order to develop the database. First, we need to identify the strategic planning factors. The strategic planning factors are in term of the goals of organization that want to achieve, the critical success factor and the problem areas in achieving the goals.

Data processing, management information system and strategic information system need to be planned and manage effectively and efficiently. Strategic information system needs to cater to the strategic demand of organization. For example, serving the business goals and creating competitive advantage as well as meeting their data processing and MIS needs. The key point is, organization need to have proper planning not only as tools for cutting cost but as means to adding value.

Database Development and Implementation

For a company to succeed, its activities must be committed to its main objectives or mission. Therefore, regardless of a company’s size, a critical step for any organization is to ensure that its information system supports is strategic plan for each of its business areas.

The database administration strategy must not conflict with the information systems plans. After all, the information system plans are derived from a detailed analysis of the company’s goal, its condition or situation and its business needs. Several methodologies are available to ensure the compatibility of data administration and information systems plans and to guide the strategic plan development. The most commonly used methodology is known as information engineering.

Information engineering (IE) allows for the translation of the company’s strategic goals into the data and application that will help the company achieve those goals. IE focuses on the description of the corporate data instead of the process. The IE rational is simple; business data type tends to remain fairly stable and do not change much during their existence. In contrast, processes change is often and thus require the frequent modification of existing system. By placing the emphasize on data, IE helps decrease the impact on systems when process change. The output of IE process is an Information system architecture (ISA) that serves as the basis for planning, development, and control of the future information system.

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