Considerations When Coming Up with A DBMS
Data is basically a raw material from which information is acquired. In any business set up, data is a valuable asset that requires careful management. According to Coronel and Morris (2016), data is a valuable resource that can be translated into information. In any company, it is imperative that the management comes up with an effective database management system that best fits their operations. This research is mainly based on a cargo handling business that involves a wide range of activities. Basically, an effective Data Base Management System (DBMS) consists of 3 key aspects which are technological, managerial and a cultural in nature. The technological aspect consists of selecting the appropriate DBMS, installing it, configuring and monitoring to ensure that it is able to handle data and also ensure that the information is safe (Siegmund et al., 2010). The personnel contracted to install the system must have the technical know-how of how the system works so as to secure adequate support for the end users who may include the managers of the company and other workers. Another consideration, is appointing a database administrator. This person is tasked with consulting within the firm (Eplee et al., 2002). Their role is mainly to plan, define, implement and enforce all the procedures, standards and policies adopted in data administration.
Considerations for implementing an operating and database system
Certain considerations need to be considered for an efficient DBMS. The system needs to be secure. Security of data is a very essential aspect of any database implementation. Such data needs to be stored securely so as to protect it from loss especially sensitive information about a company (Klamm & Watson, 2002). Any system that is implemented should address the risks of hacking or other forms of corruption of data. A consideration should be done based on the functionality of that particular DBMS. It is prudent to ensure that the modules available meet the business requirements. Such modules include extract and filter data, insight and analysis, automation and forecasting future business ventures. The system that is adopted should be versatile and flexible.
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The system should be able to grow with emerging technologies so as to keep the firm at per with trends in the market. Also the system needs to constantly keep up with the business. If the business grows, the system should be able to keep up with this and thus is able to accommodate the data and still be able to function efficiently (Coronel and Morris, 2016). This also brings in the factor of the system to be integrated with data management software such as the email marketing platform. The DBMS system also needs to be hosted the business needs to make considerations on this.
The locations, the person to handle the system among other considerations need to be keenly looked into. This is because such considerations have implications on support, cost and security of the system. The system needs to be user friendly. In this case the business should ensure that a DBMS adopted can be used by any particular member of staff with a lot of ease (Klamm & Watson, 2002). Finally the system must be able to visually analyse and display results for any particular query ran on the data while at the same time making selections and deciding segments.
Among these considerations, certain factors are more important for this business set up. The system needs to be usable with a lot of ease and should also be user friendly so that all departments in the business say the transport, marketing and the supply departments can easily access the same DBMS (Siegmund et al., 2010). The system should be able to aid visualisation and reporting so as to ease data analyses and thus aid reporting of particular data (Coronel and Morris, 2016). The system also needs to be secure so that business sensitive data and business secrets should be protected from loss or theft. Also this would prevent instances of fraud due to loopholes in the system.
The functionality of such a DBMS should have modules that related to cargo handling such as models on marketing, supply chain and those that support extraction and filtering of data, analysis, insight and forecasting (Siegmund et al., 2010). The business may grow in the future and therefore a system adopted should be able to accommodate scalability so that in the future if the business thrives, it is able to handle large amounts of data. The system should also be integrated so that information is easily shared between departments (Klamm & Watson, 2002). So that there is information exchange is easy between different departments like the supply, marketing and transport department.
Issues related to data management
There are certain issues that relate to data management. One of them is decentralized data management. In most business set ups data is being distributed to other centres referred to as data consumers. According to Eplee et al., (2002), this centre in most cases is not a data base but a data service. These data services are being used nowadays as data sources or destinations and thus data is able to move say from a point A to point B. systems are therefore being put in place to use these data services as data sources so as to reduce data duplication and to also increase the timelessness of data sharing. This has created issues to do with consistency, availability and recoverability (Ozkarahan, 2006). Security of data has always been an issue. Data needs to be secured to ensure that only the right people have access to it. With this, it means putting in place access protection systems so that the data remains secure and is not easily accessible to the wrong group of people.
Due to an increased focus on accountability, data security and the need to avoid fraud and corruption there are needed to carry out audits in companies. This is known to generate a lot of data that in some cases is more than the database being monitored. This causes a performance load on the database being audited. In data management it is an issue finding qualified and experienced people in Information Technology. With an increased need by firms to adopt data base management, there has been a need for qualified IT experts in database management.
The problem remains that there are no such people with such skills this has led to skills shortage and therefore business are therefore forced to employ less experienced personnel (Klamm & Watson, 2002). Such a practice has had a flow on effect which affects certain factors of data management including availability, recoverability and security of data. According to Coronel and Morris (2016), the data being handled is also an issue. This may be as a result of its volume and the ability to recover data. Increased data volumes raises issues about increased CPU and Memory requirements, back up time and access time of the data. On the other hand data recovery, is an issue that has been raised since electronic data existed. This raises issues on what systems are in place to retrieve data especially when the whole data set is lost.
These risks can be mitigated by fist training the personnel that works in the company to ensure that they are well equipped with the know-how of the DBMS hence they are able to work on their own. Data security also need to be assured. There is also need to maintain who handles what data so that they are held responsible for any infringements such as fraud and corruption (Ozkarahan, 2006). The DBMS also needs to be versatile and flexible to ensure that it has the capability to handle any size of data and also enable data recovery in real time.
Control activities defined by Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO
The control activities under the committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) are one the control environment which according to the COSO website establishes the foundation for the internal control system by providing fundamental discipline and structure. Control environment factors include ethical values, integrity and competence of any particular company (COSO: Online). The manner in which the management handles matters that concern a company so as to ensure a company operates efficiently. The second class is risk assessment which refers to the identification and analysis by the management on the risks a company may face as it tries to achieve its objectives. This enables a company to analyse such a risk and determine the best way to handle it (Klamm & Watson, 2002). Therefore companies need to adopt mechanisms of identifying and dealing with risks. The third aspect is that of control activities which refers to policies, procedures and practices that are put in place to ensure management achieves their objectives and that mitigation strategies are carried out in such a scenario. These activities occur at all levels and in all functions that a company is involved in. such activities include authorizations, verifications, reviews of operating performance, security of assets and division of duties in a company.
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The fourth aspect is that of Information and Communication. This component coordinates all the other control components by communicating control responsibilities to employees and also relaying information in a form and a strict time frame that enable employees to do carry out their duties efficiently (Ozkarahan, 2006). The final component is monitoring this covers the responsibilities of management and other external players that are not part of an organisation who play an oversight role in the affairs of the company. This aspect enables internal control systems to be controlled so as to assess the quality of system performance over time (Eplee et al., 2002). It includes activities such as management and supervision.
With the aspect of COSO in mind, a company can come up with an efficient DBMS. This is because a combination of these components forms an integrated system that reacts dynamically to changing conditions. The Control environment lays the foundation stone for aspects and goals of the DBMS (COSO: Online). It does this by providing structure on which the DBMS is created. Such issues include integrity, business ethics and the companies operating style. The Risk Assessment enable a company to analyse risks it may be exposed and in the case of building a DBMS such issues may include data loss. With such matters in mind, the developers are able to create a DBMS that counters such risks (Eplee et al., 2002).
Control activities ensure that the interests of various stakeholders are represented in the design of the DBMS. On the other hand monitoring may impact the design of a DBMS since in the building of such a system, the developers might have to consider accessibility of the system by management and other parties that may not necessarily be part of the organization. Information and Communication support all other control components (COSO: Online). This is the platform on which the DBMS should operate on and the system should be created based on such activities as ease of communication within the organisation and also the system should be easy to operate thus offering real time access to information.
Appropriate database structure
In this business, it would be prudent to adopt a Hierarchical Data structure. This is due to the ease with which data can be stored and retrieved from the system. This is done in structured manner. Also data can be easily extracted from the system for any particular purpose that may be required. Since the company is involved in routine types of transaction, the processing of the data would be fast and efficient. Information would also be easily accessible by all interested parties. In this company the operations of the company would be more efficient if the DBMS was centralized this is because it would lay emphasis on data integrity. This would reduce the cases of fraud. Also with centralized information, it is easy to develop reports of the business activities much easily since one has access to all the data also running such a system would be cheaper since the company is focused on running a single data management system.
In summary, it is important to point out the fact that Database Management Systems (DBMS) are an integral and important part of any organization. The level of efficiency in any business operation is primarily dependent on the manner in which the company handles its information. As a cost cutting measure, research has shown that many companies have moved to create and adopt database management systems. Besides cutting on the cost of operation, database management systems also improve efficiency and data the safety of information. As recommended above, a centralized DBMS would be the most appropriate in ensuring that the data remains secure, safe and has high levels of integrity.
- Coronel, C., & Morris, S. (2016). Database systems: design, implementation, & management. Cengage Learning.
- COSO (Online). Available at: www.coso.org/audit_shop.htm. Accessed on 11th July 2016.
- Eplee, H., Murray, B., Revere, J. H., Bollmann, F., Haddad, G., Klimek, J., & Molvar, M. (2002). 4.4 Electronic management systems. European Journal of Dental Education, 6(s3), 152-160.
- Klamm, B. K., & Watson, M. W. (2009). SOX 404 reported internal control weaknesses: A test of COSO framework components and information technology. Journal of information systems, 23(2), 1-23.
- Ozkarahan, E. (2006). Database machines and database management. Prentice-Hall, Inc.
- Siegmund, N., Feigenspan, J., Soffner, M., Fruth, J., & Köppen, V. (2010, June). Challenges of secure and reliable data management in heterogeneous environments. In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Digital Engineering (pp. 17-24). ACM.
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