What Are Databases Used For?

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What Are Databases Used For?

Learn how databases are critical to delivering immediate, personalized, data-driven applications and real-time analytics.

· Database Zone ·
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To gather insights on the state of databases today, and their future, we spoke to 27 executives at 23 companies who are involved in the creation and maintenance of databases.

We asked these executives, "How can companies benefit from databases?" Here's what they told us:


  • Any business can use data to help make more informed business decisions. However, they must know where their data is and have a data management strategy.
  • Store and retrieve related information.
  • Aggregate and analyze business data.
  • Our customers use databases to collect all of the data from their applications.
  • There are opportunities with every business domain and every data domain.
  • Abstract layer for data management. Simple storage retrieved access control to optimization of queries. Persistence of application information.
  • By recognizing that no database can do everything (with the possible exception of PostgreSQL, eventually...) and that fads come and go. Do your research, and be skeptical. Also, if your requirements permit it, you can slash a lot of operational and development overhead by choosing a cloud database, but be aware that this may narrow your deployment choices down the line. Another thing that often gets forgotten is development/testing convenience — many databases offer in-memory or embedded implementations that can make integration testing much simpler.
  • That’s a tough question to answer! How do companies benefit from enterprise software overall? The answers are limitless. Perhaps a better question is, Are databases critical to business success? Here the answer is a resounding yes. Digital transformation tops most of our customers’ business agendas. What that means to me is the ability to analyze and monetize data for new revenue streams. You simply cannot do this without a proper database strategy, especially for larger enterprises where the sheer scale of digital transformation requires storing, manipulating, and analyzing petabytes of data.
  • Like everyone else undergoing digital transformation, most of these companies find databases to be critical to delivering the immediate, personalized, data-driven applications and real-time analytics.
  • Database management systems are the engine for the applications, transactional systems, and analytics systems. None of those can run without being fueled by the database – that hasn't changed, even as the technology has evolved to do more. Databases guarantee persistent, reliable access to the data and provide the ability to co-relate data that gets produced in different areas to understand relationships, generate reports (think sales data of last quarter) can to predict trends for the future.


  • The U.S. Postal Service uses databases to track the entire mail distribution system.
  • PG&E integrates seven different lines of business.
  • Manage business critical data and develop the strategy for doing so — personnel, salary, sales, production.
  • Time series data is paired with location data for logistics and transportation, military, and banking.
  • The benefits are horizontal. We have customers using our product for a document search engine and another using it as a commercial IoT platform.
  • We have created a HIPAA-compliant demo to ingest EDI data to form a healthcare clearing house in a box for plan termination and patient data.
  • Data-centric security, audit, and compliance, secure data use, secure migration to the cloud.
  • Provide real-time decision support. Reduce latency. Increase responsiveness. The greater the capability of the database, the less you have to manage.
  • We have an oil and gas client using five different databases. We help their Oracle and MySQL relational databases to drive applications and synchronize actionable data.
  • In the case of the graph database, our customers benefit from getting real-time business insights from a unified view of connected data, whether it is real-time fraud/risk assessment or best-personalized recommendation, or real-time event impact to supply-chain and logistics.

How are the companies you are working with benefitting from databases?

Here’s who we talked to:

  • Emma McGrattan, S.V.P. of Engineering, Actian
  • Zack Kendra, Principal Software Engineer, Blue Medora
  • Subra Ramesh, VP of Products and Engineering, Dataguise
  • Robert Reeves, Co-founder and CTO and Ben Gellar, VP of Marketing, Datical
  • Peter Smails, VP of Marketing and Business Development and Shalabh Goyal, Director of Product, Datos IO
  • Anders Wallgren, CTO and Avantika Mathur, Project Manager, Electric Cloud
  • Lucas Vogel, Founder, Endpoint Systems
  • Yu Xu, CEO, GraphSQL
  • Avinash Lakshman, CEO, Hedvig
  • Matthias Funke, Director, Offering Manager, Hybrid Data Management, IBM
  • Vicky Harp, Senior Product Manager, IDERA
  • Ben Bromhead, CTO, Instaclustr
  • Julie Lockner, Global Product Marketing, Data Platforms, InterSystems
  • Amit Vij, CEO and Co-founder, Kinetica
  • Anoop Dawar, V.P. Product Marketing and Management, MapR
  • Shane Johnson, Senior Director of Product Marketing, MariaDB
  • Derek Smith, CEO and Sean Cavanaugh, Director of Sales, Naveego
  • Philip Rathle, V.P. Products, Neo4j
  • Ariff Kassam, V.P. Products, NuoDB
  • William Hardie, V.P. Oracle Database Product Management, Oracle
  • Kate Duggan, Marketing Manager, Redgate Software Ltd.
  • Syed Rasheed, Director Solutions Marketing Middleware Technologies, Red Hat
  • John Hugg, Founding Engineer, VoltDB
  • Milt Reder, V.P. of Engineering, Yet Analytics
database, database applications, real-time analytics

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