3 Database Resource Management
I. CHAPTER OVERVIEW
Foundation Concepts: Foundations of Information in Business presents an overview of the five basic areas of
information systems knowledge needed by business professionals, including the conceptual system components
and major types of information systems.
Data Resource Management – Data resource management is a managerial activity that applies information
systems technology and management tools to the task of managing an organization’s data resources. It includes
the database administration function that focuses on developing and maintaining standards and controls for an
organization’s databases. Data administration, however, focuses on the planning and control of data to support
business functions and strategic organizational objectives. This includes a data planning effort that focuses on
developing an overall data architecture for a firm’s data resources.
Database Management - The database management approach affects the storage and processing of data. The
data needed by different applications are consolidated and integrated into several common databases, instead of
being stored in many independent data files. Also, the database management approach emphasizes updating and
maintaining common databases, having users’ application programs share the data in the database, and providing
a reporting and an inquiry/response capability so end users can easily receive reports and quick responses to
requests for information.
Database Software - Database management systems are software packages that simplify the criterion, use, and
maintenance of databases. They provide software tools so end users, programmers, and database administrators
can create and modify databases, interrogate a database, generate reports, do application development, and
perform database maintenance.
Types of Databases - Several types of databases are used by business organizations, including operational,
distributed, and external databases. Data warehouses are a central source of data from other databases that have
been cleaned, transformed and cataloged for business analysis and decision support applications. That includes
data mining, which attempts to find hidden patterns and trends in the warehouse data. Hypermedia databases on
the World Wide Web and corporate intranets and extranets store hyperlinked multimedia pages at a website. Web
server software can manage such databases for quick access and maintenance of the Web database.
Database Development - The development of databases can be easily accomplished using microcomputer
database management packages for small end user applications. However, the development of large corporate
databases requires a top-down data planning effort. This may involve developing enterprise and entity
relationship models, subject area databases, and data models that reflect the logical data elements and
relationships needed to support the operation and management of the basic business processes of the organization.
Data Access - Data must be organized in some logical manner on physical storage devices so that they can be
efficiently processed. For this reason, data are commonly organized into logical data elements such as characters,
fields, records, files, and databases. Database and object-oriented models, are used to organize the relationships
among the data records stored in databases. Databases and files can be organized in either a sequential or direct
manner and can be accessed and maintained by either sequential access or direct access processing methods.
II: LEARNING OBJECTIVES
• Explain the importance of implementing data resource management processes and technologies in an
• Outline the advantages of the database management approach to managing the data resources of a business.
• Explain how database management software helps business professionals and supports the operations and
management of a business.
• Provide examples to illustrate each of the following concepts:
a. Major types of databases.
b. Data warehouses and data mining.
c. Logical data elements.
d. Fundamental database structures
e. Database access methods.
f. Database development.
Learning Objective 1: Explain the importance of implementing data resource
management processes and technologies in an organization.
The focus of this objective is understanding the importance of establishing within an organization the concept that
data is a vital resource that must be managed with just as much care, skill, and energy as financial and material
resources are managed. This is discussed briefly on p. 70, is expressed in various ways throughout the chapter,
and is brought out in the case studies. Implementation of data resource management is discussed on p. 81. As
you study other aspects of databases you should be thinking about what data and information they contain and
how it is important to the organization. As you develop a clear idea of the degree to which an organization may
depend on its data resources the importance of data resource management becomes painfully obvious. (Painful if
not done well.)
Be able to discuss the basic concepts of the key activities of:
● Database administration
● Data planning
● Data administration
Learning Objective 2: Outline the advantages of the database management
approach to managing the data resources of a business.
The discussion of the database management approach is on pp. 78-83. This overlaps with and includes the area of
data resource management. In many ways the database management approach is the “how” of data resource
management or at least a very big part of it. The most central concept is that of keeping all enterprise data in a
database management system (DBMS) so that all applications that need it can access and update it in a shared
manner and so that only one master copy of each piece of data exists so that it is impossible to have
inconsistencies caused by multiple copies of the same data element being updated differently.
Be able to discuss the three key activities of the database management approach:
• Updating and maintaining common databases to reflect new business transactions and other events
requiring changes to an organization’s records.
• Providing information needed for each end user’s application by using application programs that
share the data in common databases.
• Providing an inquiry/response and reporting capability through a DBMS package so that end users
can easily interrogate databases, generate reports, and receive quick responses to their ad hoc
requests for information.
Learning Objective 3: Explain how database management software helps business
professionals and supports the operations and management of a business.
This is focusing on the good qualities of the software products themselves. The center of this objective is the
DBMS because it provides the majority of the support. Be familiar with the four major capabilities that a DBMS
provides and relate these to business value:
● Database development – creation of the right database structure
● Database interrogation – Asking the DBMS for data it contains
● Database maintenance – Updating the data and keeping things running smoothly
● Application development – creation of software that uses the data for business purposes
Learning Objective 4: Provide examples to illustrate each of the following
● Major types of databases (operational, distributed, external, hypermedia, data warehouse)
● Data warehouses and data mining.
● Logical data elements.
● Fundamental database structures
● Database access methods.
● Database development.
The focus here is examples. The main material in the text offers examples. The case studies are particularly good
sources of examples. You might come up with some from your own experience or other sources. The key would
be to have a basic idea of what each category above is and then find an example that illustrates it.
V. KEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS - DEFINED
A software module and database containing descriptions and definitions concerning the structure, data elements,
interrelationships, and other characteristics of an organization’s databases.
A process where data in a data warehouse is identified to discover key business trends and factors.
A process where the relationships between data elements are identified and defined to develop data models.
A planning and analysis function focusing on data resource management which includes the responsibility of
developing an overall information policy and data architecture for a company’s data resources.
Data Resource Management:
A managerial activity that applies information systems technology and management tools to the task of managing
an organization’s data resources. Its three major components are database administration, data administration, and
Database Access - Direct:
A method of storage where each storage position has a unique address and can be individually accessed.
Database Access - Sequential:
A method of storing and retrieving data where records are organized in sequential order by some key field.
A data resource management function which includes responsibility for developing and maintaining the
organization’s data dictionary, designing and monitoring the performance of databases, and enforcing standards
for database use and security.
A specialist responsible for maintaining standards for the development, maintenance, and security of an
Database Management Approach:
An approach to the storage and processing of data in which independent files are consolidated into a common pool
or database of records available to different application programs and end users for processing and data retrieval.
Database Management System (DBMS):
A set of computer programs that controls the creation, maintenance, and utilization of the databases of an
Database Structure - Hierarchical:
A logical data structure in which the relationships between records form a hierarchy or tree structure. The
relationships among records are one-to-many, since each data element is related only to one element above it.
Database Structure - Multidimensional:
A multidimensional database model uses multidimensional structures to store data and relationships between data.
Database Structure - Network:
A logical database structure, which allows many-to-many relationships among data records.
Database Structure - Object-Oriented:
A logical database structure, which uses objects as data elements, i.e. elements that include both data and the
methods or processes that act on the data.
Database Structure - Relational:
A logical data structure in which all data elements within the database are viewed as being stored in the form of
simple tables. DBMS packages based on the relational model can link data elements from various tables as long
as the tables share common data elements.
Includes application development, database development, database interrogation, and database maintenance.
DBMS uses - Application Development:
Database management packages allow end users to develop personalized applications to enhance work activity.
DBMS uses - Database Development:
Database management packages allow end users to develop databases that they need.
DBMS uses - Database Interrogation:
End users can obtain information from a database using a query language or a report generator.
DBMS uses - Database Maintenance:
The databases of an organization need to be updated continually to reflect new business transactions and other
A field within a data record that is used to identify it or control its use.
Logical Data Elements:
Data elements that are independent of the physical data media on which they are recorded.
Logical Data Elements - Character:
The most basic logical data element, which consists of a single alphabetic, numeric, or other symbol.
Logical Data Elements - Field:
A data element that consists of a grouping of characters that describe a particular attribute of an entity.
Logical Data Elements - Record:
A collection of related data fields treated as a unit.
Logical Data Elements- File:
A collection of related data records treated as a unit. Sometimes called a data set.
Logical Data Elements - Database:
A collection of logically related records or files. A database consolidates many records previously stored in
separate files so that a common pool of data records serves many applications.
Data about data; data describing the structure, data elements, interrelationships, and other characteristics of a
A high-level human-like language provided by a database management system that enables users to easily extract
data and information from a database.
A feature of database management system packages, which allows an end user to quickly specify a report format
for the display of information, retrieved from a database.
Types of Databases - Data Warehouse:
A central source of data that has been extracted from various organizational databases and standardized and
integrated for use throughout an organization.
Types of Databases - Distributed:
The concept of distributing databases or portions of a database at remote sites where the data is more frequently
referenced. Sharing of data is made possible through a network that interconnects the distributed databases.
Types of Databases - External:
Commercially operated databases that provide information for a fee and that can be accessed through wide area
Types of Databases - Hypermedia:
A web site stores information in a hypermedia database consisting of a home page and other hyperlinked pages of
multimedia or mixed media (text, graphics and photographic images, video clips, audio segments, and so on).
Types of Databases - Operational:
Databases that support the major business operations of an entire organization. Also called subject area databases,
transaction databases, and production databases.