What is Database Construction?
The Benefits and the Process of Building a Database
Today, the use of big data is considered important and there is a wide range of information handled in business.
In order for operations to run smoothly, information needs to be handled efficiently, and this is also the same in hospitals and nursing homes.
It is essential to build a database in order to manage information efficiently.
This article explains the basics of database construction and its benefits in an easy-to-understand manner.
A Database is a Collection of Systematically Organized Information
First, let’s talk about what a database is.
A database is a collection of information that has been systematically organized based on certain rules.
A database is not just a collection of information, but it must be managed so that it can be retrieved when needed.
Nowadays, it mainly refers to a group of information that can be handled on a computer, but even paper-based information such as address books and telephone directories are still databases.
The term “database” is also used to refer to a DBMS (Database Management System), which is a system for managing databases on a computer.
Databases are indispensable for hospitals and pharmaceutical companies as well.
The creation of a database of the vast amount of medical and pharmaceutical information will play a major role in the future development of the medical field and the efficiency of the drug discovery process.
Purpose and Types of Database Construction
Database construction is the process of building a system to manage a database on a computer.
There are two main ways to do this: cloud-based and on-premises.
Let’s take a look at the purpose of building a database and the differences between cloud-based and on-premises databases.
The Purpose of Building a Database is to Reduce the Workload of Information Management
The purpose of building a database is to automate the process of organizing and storing information on a computer, and to reduce the human workload.
Although some of the work, such as entering information into the computer, needs to be done by humans, the difference of amount of effort compared to managing information on paper is obvious.
The DBMS (Database Management System) mentioned above is used to build the database.
The functions of a DBMS make it possible to systematically organize and accumulate information, even if it is big data.
In addition, since the necessary information can be quickly retrieved depending on the situation, the scope of information analysis and utilization can be expanded.
A good example of a DBMS is a POS (Point of Sale) system used in the retail industry.
By scanning barcodes at the cash register when products are sold, information on “when,” “where,” “which products,” and “how many units sold” is automatically stored in the system, eliminating the need for employees to keep handwritten ledgers.
Also, by accessing the POS database, information such as sales history can be easily obtained.
Cloud-based is a Database that Uses an External Server
Cloud-based database construction means to operate a database using an external server which is managed by a vendor.
Since the service content and security strength depend on the vendor, prior vendor selection is important to achieve satisfactory results.
Cloud-based databases have the following five features.
- Low implementation cost
- Implementation in a short period of time
- Easy to maintain
- Security measures are taken by the vendor
- Storage capacity can be changed as needed
Cloud-based databases do not require the installation of internal servers or system construction, and can be implemented at low cost and in a short period of time.
Also, since no system maintenance is required by yourself, it can be operated by small businesses that do not have engineers with specialized knowledge.
In addition, there is no need to take any special measures to secure the information by yourself, as the vendor is always taking security measures.
In the past, it was sometimes said that “cloud computing has weak security,” but now that cloud services are widely used in various fields, security has been improved.
However, the security measures for cloud-based databases depend on the vendor and may not match your company’s security policy.
The ability to operate in accordance with the rules set by your company is also a key factor in choosing a vendor.
On-premises is a Database that is Built on the Company’s Internal Server
Building an on-premises database means building the database on the internal server.
Unlike cloud-based systems that use off-the-shelf systems, a system that is optimized for your own business purposes can be built.
On-premises databases have the following two characteristics.
- Customizable to fit your business needs
- Less susceptible to external networks and highly secured
The advantage of the on-premises database is that the system can be customized as the business content and the purpose of use changes.
It is also possible to add functions according to the needs of employees.
In addition, because of using internal servers, there are benefits such as less susceptible to external networks and more resistant to cyber-attacks and hacking.
On the other hand, the disadvantages of the on-premises database are a lot of time and effort required to implement the system and the high initial cost.
There are also ancillary costs such as maintenance costs of equipment and system, server room rent, and engineer labor costs.
Today, the security of cloud-based databases is improving, and the advantages of on-premises databases are fading.
However, which one is better depends on the purpose of operation, so it is important to carefully consider which one to adopt when building a database.
Three Benefits of Database Construction
Building a database has the following advantages:
- Data management can be centralized
- Make it easier to find information
- Information can be shared
By converting individually managed information into a database, operational efficiency can be expected to improve dramatically.
1. Data Management can be Centralized
The first benefit of building a database is that it makes it easier to manage data by centralizing information.
By linking and aggregating related information, multiple pieces of information can be managed in one place.
Preventing the dispersion of information will also lead to improved information security.
In addition, by backing up the database itself, a large amount of information can be stored in one place, which is also effective for risk management.
2. Make it Easier to Find Information
The second benefit is that you can quickly find the information you need.
There is a large amount of information stored in the database, but only the necessary information can be extracted by searching with specified conditions.
In addition to simply displaying the relevant information, it is also possible to extract data according to a specific format.
If the DBMS has the capability to analyze information, the information can be processed and displayed in reports and tables.
3. Information can be shared
The third benefit is the ability to share information.
Since the database is built in a server, all information can be shared by users who have a communication device that can connect to the relevant server.
In addition, databases can be accessed by multiple people at the same time without corrupting the data.
In recent years, some databases have been able to avoid the load by scheduling the processing of tasks and can withstand the connection of many people.
How a Database is Constructed?
When building a database, it is important to understand the workflow and execute it systematically.
In reality, each process involves complex work, but here we’ll try to summarize the process and explain it in an easy-to-understand manner.
1. Research and Analysis
The first step in building a database is to research and analyze the target information.
Analyze the workflow of your business and data to identify the information you need.
After that, “conceptual data model,” which will serve as a standard for system construction, will be created.
The conceptual data model is a diagram that expresses the relationship between the target information, and in simple terms, it is a visualization of data.
In database construction, what kind of tables to create, how to structure the columns of each table, and what attributes to use for each column will be decided.
2. Design and Development
Based on the conceptual data model, how to process the analyzed data on the computer will be examined, and then the database will actually be built.
A newly constructed database is empty of information.
Necessary initial information is stored in an external file beforehand, and then stored in the newly constructed database.
After storing the initial data, the database is put into actual operation and tested to see if it works according to the specifications.
Check whether the data is imported correctly from external data, and whether the data is extracted as expected by specifying the conditions, etc., and adjust the system to withstand actual business operations.
4. Operation and Maintenance
Daily management and regular maintenance are necessary for secure operation of the database.
Assign a person in charge who checks the usage status and server load, responds to a system failure, and manages security, so that the system can be operated comfortably.
It is also important to make regular backups to preserve the database.
How to Build and Utilize Databases in the Medical Industry
The following are some usage examples of the databases in the medical industry.
In recent years, there has been an active movement to use big data for medical care. The basis for this is the existence of a medical database that has accumulated a vast amount of information.
The use of medical databases will contribute to the development of medicine, including the establishment of new treatments and the development of new drugs.
1. How to Utilize it in the Medical Field
In the medical field, the information accumulated in the database is used for the prevention and early detection of diseases.
With the ability to analyze a large number of cases through big data analysis, we now have a more accurate picture of the risks associated with the disease.
Collecting and analyzing information from medical databases is called data health analysis.
By analyzing the information collected from hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, discovery of new treatments and extension of healthy life spans are expected.
2. Utilization in new drug development
Medical databases are also used by pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs.
The development of a new drug is never easy.
Identifying substances to be researched requires an enormous amount of data analysis and simulation, and the probability of successful development is low to begin with.
By utilizing the medical database, we have been able to narrow down the target substances and improve the efficiency of data analysis, thereby smoothing the process of new drug development.
Increasing the speed of new drug development also leads to lower development costs.
Improve Business Efficiency by Building Databases
Database construction is the process of storing huge amounts of data on a server so that it can be managed on a computer.
By creating a database of the information you handle in your business, it makes you quickly access the information you need.
In the medical industry, big data accumulated in databases is indispensable.
It is expected that the construction of the databases will improve operational efficiency in all medical fields.