Using database technology to gather, store and process information about your customers, suppliers and even competitors can give your business a distinct advantage.
Developing a database for your business can help you:
- reduce the amount of time you spend managing data
- analyse data in a variety of ways
- promote a disciplined approach to data management
- turn disparate information into a valuable resource
- improve the quality and consistency of information
Many businesses do not have the time or resources available to gather and process large quantities of information. This may lead to a lack of information about:
- how their business is performing
- how profitable their product lines are
- if customers are making repeat purchases
If you're not sure how a database could help your business, see 5 reasons why your business needs a good database.
Role of data in your business
It's not always obvious what information is potentially valuable, so you should try to gather as much data as possible (bearing in mind your data protection responsibilities).
A sophisticated relational database management system can help you store a vast amount of data which, as it builds up over time, can become increasingly useful and valuable. For example:
- historical data can show you business trends
- sales records can identify valuable customers
In addition, the disciplines required to gather, enter and process such data can help to ensure that your business runs in a regulated and properly managed way.
Read more about relational databases and the different types of database systems.
Databases and data protection
Your gathering, storage and processing of customers' personal data must comply with data protection legislation, including the requirement not to collect or process excessive or unnecessary personal data. Under the GDPR, you must ensure the personal data you are processing is:
- adequate - sufficient to properly fulfil your stated purpose
- relevant - has a rational link to that purpose
- limited to what is necessary - you do not hold more than you need for that purpose
See how to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).