What is a Database?

Definition of a Database

Simply put a database is information that has been collected, organised and stored in one easy, accessible place much like an electronic filing cabinet. One of the best examples of a database is probably a program most computer users have accessed at one time of their lives, Microsoft Excel. Where Excel is a spreadsheet, a database still takes on a very similar form as a spreadsheet. Databases will most likely contain columns and rows, for example, a phone book with information such as - first name, last name and phone number. Databases are much more powerful than spreadsheets with a multitude of available actions.


In the past databases were stored within a company’s infrastructure, meaning the need for extra data space. Many different types of databases may be kept in different places such as members, inventories and transactions. This can make it difficult to compare certain facts and figures in a simple no fuss manner. However, in recent years Structured Query Language (SQL) has advanced to allow making updating and querying databases easier.
Customer relationship management system (CRM) is a form of a database with powerful solutions that can help improve costs, processes and much more. A CRM allows for the automation of a lot of everyday business processes, such as administration, member management and meetings. Being able to access a large database of customers, clients or members within a CRM can be extremely beneficial. 

CRM and 'The Cloud'

Where a regular database or simple spreadsheet is accessible from a file on your computer, usb stick or email, the machine accessing the information still needs the relevant software and storage capabilities to access it. An online database or CRM is accessible from almost anywhere provided you have a working internet connection and web browser. The information entered into the database is most likely stored on a 3rd party server within 'the cloud'. The other benefits of ‘the cloud’ storage is the back up of the information within the database being stored outside of your company’s infrastructure.