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What Are The Advantages Of A Computerized Database, Over A Manual Database?

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Samuel Chiltern answered
A vast number of large organisations worldwide have adopted computerised databases in preference to paper-based systems. This suggests that the advantages of the computerised databases are numerous, and the benefits considerable.

Specific advantages include:

  • Superior data storage capacity
  • Faster data retrieval, especially when searching by secondary fields such as address
  • Data analysis is much quicker - reports can be automatically generated
  • Sorting data by specific parameters (e.g date of birth) is much quicker
  • Amending data is much easier - no need for correction fluid or the re-writing of record cards
  • If properly configured, there is less chance of data loss - leading to an end to mis-filed cards
  • Easier-to-manage security - computerized databases can easily employ a variety of access privileges for different users
  • Data redundancy - it's easy to keep more than one copy of the data in case of disaster
You should, however, bear in mind that manual databases have their advantages too:

  • They require no electricity
  • A manual system won't suffer catastrophic failure - you might lose a few records, but the rest of the system will still work.
  • They don't require specialist technical support to set up and maintain
  • They are generally easier to learn how to use - and are normally simply sorted alphabetically
  • Assuming your storage site is secure, then you know that your data is also secure - because there is no way for that data to be accessed externally. Computer systems can be compromised from outside - by hackers, for example.
  • Sometimes, hard copies need to be maintained for one reason or another, perhaps because there are diagrams or drawings involved. Increasingly however, we are seeing computerisation of  these records too, as scanning technology and professional software tools improve.

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