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IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT DATABASE MANAGEMENT EVERY IT ENTHUSIAST SHOULD KNOW

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In modern society, databases play a vital role. Almost no computer function would function without them. To understand how to use the various types of databases that exist, or if you use them as individuals or for your job, you need to know what they are and how to use them.

Database management is an essential field in IT as it keeps your system up and running without any issues. A well-managed database keeps your data safe from any tampering and helps you keep your system and applications running smoothly. All software programs and databases need to be managed. Management is the process of maintaining a program or database running at peak performance. There are many different ways to manage databases and software, but below are a few methods that are especially useful for database management.

You Can Optimize Them For Efficiency

Many customers are satisfied with their database technology but aren’t happy with their performance. This leads to unsatisfactory customer support, which naturally leads to unhappy customers. The solution is to optimize the database to make it run faster, and one of the best ways to do this is by using denormalization. Database denormalization is a technique used to simplify the data storage of large databases. Some examples of denormalization include aggregating data together or setting up an extra colon to deal with similar data. Denormalization is an excellent technique to increase the efficiency of a database. There are fewer tables that users need to join, which speeds up the process. You can store data far more conveniently.

Databases Come In At Least 12 Types

Databases are collections of related information that have been organized for easy access. For example, you might have a database of people and their addresses or sales figures for your latest product. Data stored together in a single database can be accessed in several ways, from using the database’s query language to open the database with a simple spreadsheet application.

Centralized Database

A centralized database is a database that is accessible from a single location and can be accessed and managed from a single computer. A centralized database consists of data collected from a single place and accessed and managed from a single computer. They often have a single point of control from which only authorized users can access it. They may be updated from a single location as they are accessed from a single computer.

Cloud Database

Cloud databases are databases that are stored on an external server (an external database server) that is “in the Cloud” (in the Cloud). Cloud databases have been around for a while and are now common in some industries. The basic idea is simple: instead of storing your data on a local server, you can keep it on a cloud-based database hosted by the vendor. You can access it from anywhere, and the vendor will back it up for you.

Commercial Database

Business-oriented databases are those that commercial companies create. Databases with extensive functionality are developed by businesses and sold to their customers. There are different types of commercial databases, depending on their technology or composition. Commercial databases involve customers paying to make use of them, unlike open source databases.

Distributed Database

A distributed database is a data store attached to multiple servers, with each server responsible for storing data but connected via a network. The database is stored on a central server, but the data exists on each server. The data flows back and forth between the servers, and each server processes the data in its own way.

End-user Database

An end-user database collects data used by an “end-user” that one or more persons can share. It is stored, typically, on a server without the need for a specific individual to manage the data. An excellent example of a database used by an end-user is a software client database that can be accessed by a computer (or any other device) for storing, accessing, or retrieving data.

Graph Database

Graph databases allow us to store data in a graph structure. That means that rather than holding each piece of data itself, you store the relationships between those pieces of data. This makes it easier to traverse the graph and find the things you are looking for, and it makes it easier to do things such as joins between multiple tables, storing scanned documents as nodes, and more.

NoSQL Database

NoSQL is a collection of database styles that differ on how data is stored, arranged, and accessed. These databases are usually flexible and tailored to the needs of the application. If your application needs to store large quantities of data and access it quickly, a NoSQL database is likely your best choice.

Object-oriented Database

Some databases are oriented around objects and classes and store the data as such. A class describes an entire group of objects, whereas an object is a single item. These databases are relational databases that use object-oriented concepts. If you need to process a large amount of complex data quickly, an object-oriented database may be the best choice since it can efficiently search and retrieve large volumes of information.

Open-source Database

Open-source databases are free to access by the general public. Users of open-source databases do not have to pay a fee to download or subscribe. Open source describes a computer program in which users can observe and edit the development process. Commercial databases have many more features than open-source databases, but they are often more expensive.

Operational Database

An operational database manages a business’s operations and transactions. Additionally, it may be required to provide interactive dashboards for real-time analytics or integrate these capabilities into operational procedures.

Personal Database

Personal computers collect and store data on an individual database which is easy to manage and small. A small group of people usually have access to data used by a department within an organization.

Relational Database

Relational databases are the standard in modern databases. What makes relational databases different from other database systems is how they store data—or, more accurately, how they model the way that data is stored. For the most part, You can model even complex data structures in a relational manner.

Databases are essential in the modern world, and without them, everything electronic would come to a halt. Businesses rely on them for everything from shopping cart management to customer retention.

 

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BECOMING THE CEO: THIS IS HOW CFOS CAN SECURE THE TOP JOB

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Mark Freebairn, Partner and Head of the Board and CFO Practices at Odgers Berndtson, explains what CFOs need to do if they want to become CEOs 

 

For some time now, there’s been a very clear trend in CFOs progressing onto CEOs. It’s a trend that should come as no surprise to executive leaders. With more CEOs under increasing pressure, many CFOs have become the nominal second in command, often taking non-finance related responsibilities off their CEO’s plate.

As result, CFOs have begun playing a more strategic and commercial role which has inevitably broadened their remits beyond the finance function. With many CFOs breaking out of the traditional financial management confines, executive teams and boards have begun to realise that finance and general management are more closely aligned than they previously thought. This has given CFOs more opportunities to gain experience relevant for the CEO position. From owning P&L business units to engaging with external investors, the CFO’s evolving remit is making them likely candidates for the top job.

That’s not to say it’s a done deal for anyone who is currently a CFO. The CEO jobs market is comparatively small, CEO turnover is typically slow, and competition is intense. So below, I’ve outlined the key areas CFOs should gain experience in and the opportunities they should capitalise on if they want to compete for the CEO positions out there.

 

Mark Freebairn

Take responsibility for P&L business units 

Overseeing specific business units is a natural extension of the CFO’s responsibilities. It provides experience of managing products, costs, and revenue generation – all of which are staple requirements for the CEO role. But it also provides operational credibility internally, which will prove advantageous for any CFOs lining themselves up as a succession candidate to their own CEOs.

If possible, CFOs should take on responsibility for turning around a failing business unit. This is the fastest way of gaining commercial experience relevant for a CEO role. Particularly as economies emerge from the pandemic, boards will be looking for leaders who can demonstrate an ability to drive growth and new business despite significant internal and external challenges.

Likewise, CFOs should involve themselves in other business functions. Whether it’s procurement and the supply chain, or facilities and security, CFOs should play a role outside of the finance function in order to gain broader business experience.

 

Build a highly-autonomous finance team 

The CFO’s role within organisations and their ability to easily expose themselves to other P&L units makes them suitable candidates for CEOs. However, CFOs are only as good as the team around them. Building a high-performing finance team that can drive the day-to-day operations of the function will have several outcomes. Firstly, it will free up a CFO to take on more responsibility around the business and gain more time with their CEO. Secondly, it’s a valuable proof point that CFOs can use in any interview to demonstrate their ability to build strong teams – as a CEO, building a strong cadre of trusted executives is crucial for success.

This should be a team that can be trusted to perform autonomously, with a strong second in command that the CFO can rely upon.

 

Take on a non-executive director (NED) role 

While financial management is central to any successful organisation, CFOs still need to develop expertise outside of the function if they are to step up as CEOs. Taking responsibility for P&L business units will provide this, however it won’t provide a CFO with the same board-level perspective that a NED role will.

Taking on a NED role will not only help CFOs to understand what boards expect of CEOs but it will also provide experience of a different kind of leadership; one that is less hands on and more about guidance and mentorship.  Within the commercial sector, there are board roles among smaller quoted companies, those backed by private equity, or family owned businesses. Advisory boards and subsidiary boards are also a good option.

On the public sector side, board roles exist within organisations owned by or reporting to government. These include major infrastructure operators, the NHS, regulators, museums and other arts institutions. Likewise, a charity trustee role (while unpaid) is similar and will help to develop both a CFOs network and board skills.

Auditing, budgetary reviewing and balance sheet responsibilities are often sought after skills in non-executive directors, making CFOs ideal for these positions.

 

Take on internal leadership positions 

These types of leadership positions should be separate to the finance function and can include things like internal workstreams, strategic initiatives such as I&D and sustainability, or CSR projects. The benefit of taking on this responsibility is two-fold. It helps build necessary leadership skills and provides leadership experience. But it also showcases a CFO within the business in a leadership capacity outside of finance. The later will be beneficial for any CFOs looking at internal progression onto the CEO position.

Mentoring achieves similar outcomes. This helps build leadership skills and can lead to greater exposure around the business. What’s more, any mentee may later become a useful contact in a CFOs network.

 

Network outside of the organisation 

CFOs often underestimate the power of a personal network. Building relationships with other senior leaders will enable a CFO to generate career opportunities that can lead onto CEO appointments. While professional networks within the CFO community are valuable, networking outside of these types of environments is likely to be the most profitable for career advancement.

Any CFO looking to make the jump to CEO should build relationships with a variety of third parties. These include shareholders and brokers, investors, M&A specialists, bankers, and even lawyers. A CFOs experience and perspective can be incredibly valuable to these types of professionals so getting on their radar shouldn’t be difficult. Making the effort to build a relationship with them will pay dividends in the long run, and may lead to hearing about, or if you’re good enough, even being recommended for a CEO position.

 

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REDUCE CUSTOMER DISPUTES WITH DATA TRANSPARENCY

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By Gabe McGloin, Head of Business Development EMEA at Verifi

 

The digitisation of commerce has escalated the need for card-not-present (CNP) businesses to bring proactive customer communication to the fore. From digital receipts to high-tech AI chatbots, sellers have more options than ever to interact with customers. Not only will embracing these efforts heighten transparency, but also improve customer service and foster better relationships which plays an important part in preventing disputes, preventing disputes, and ensuring ongoing custom to the seller.

According to a recent report by KPMG, 90% of consumers regard a complete resolution of transaction issues as one of the most important qualities of great customer service[1]. Providing customers with clear information at the precise point they need it should be a central part of all companies’ dispute strategy, as resolving the issue early is in everyone’s best interest.

Keeping customers informed through proactive communication and delivering clear transaction information can lead to reduced friction in returns and refunds. Such efforts should be coupled with greater sharing of transaction data between seller and issuer, allowing purchases to be easily confirmed and understood. Clear but not invasive communication pre-empts disputes and can prevent the escalation of many far-reaching problems related to disputes.

 

Prevention is better than a cure

A company’s disputes strategy should feature preventive tactics at the presale experience. Sellers should ensure at the point of purchase that customers have all the appropriate information needed for a complete and satisfying purchase. Ensuring customers are making well-informed decisions is not only important as best practice, but a good measure to help minimise returns, refunds, and disputes.

At or before checkout, sellers should provide easy access to policies. Clear and concise terms & conditions allows customers to understand their rights and what is expected of them. Likewise, returns & refunds policies should outline the procedures for customers to take in the event a product or service does not meet their expectations. Subscription services must also be clear around commitments and cancellations. A key area of needed clarity is in the scope of free trials: unclear rules can leave customers feeling cheated when they see an unfamiliar charge on their billing statement. To avoid disputes, service providers should clearly outline the end date at the outset and remind customers at the appropriate time of the pending close of the free trial period.

By giving customers clear information about their rights and available actions up front, confusion and speculation leading to disputes may be reduced. In the unfortunate event a dispute does occur, clearly presented presale terms and customer purchasing history can provide sellers with important compelling evidence for successful representment and recovery of funds from unwarranted chargebacks.

 

Did I buy that?

Unrecognised transactions can often lead to consumers disputing charges with their issuer. Far too often, customers contact their bank to submit a dispute, simply because they do not recognise transactions on their statement. This type of activity is a key driver of friendly fraud. Research shows that 77% of heavy online shoppers who reported a problem transaction on their statement are in favour of having access to enhanced transaction details. In fact, 75% of credit card users will do research on an unrecognised transaction before they call their issuer (83% for debit card users). It should also be noted that 25% of calls to the issuer could be prevented with clearer seller transaction descriptors on billing statements[2]. The ability to effectively head off confusion around transactions is the most cost-effective way to reduce customer disputes.

After the point of sale, proactive and continued communication is key to reducing disputes. Sellers should follow transactions with purchase confirmation and transaction details via email or text. If possible, confirmation should include business name, contact information (email, phone), purchase amount, date of purchase, item(s) quantity and descriptions. Also, if applicable, sellers should provide tracking and shipping information and receipt confirmation of goods/services. These standard practices should leave customers no doubt about the purchase they made, as well as instil confidence in the sell with whom they have conducted a transaction.

Sellers must embrace technology in their communications with consumers. In a recent survey, 60% of customers thought a digitally posted picture of the printed receipt would be most helpful in validating a transaction[3].

Despite best preventive practices, some disputes are inevitable. Sellers that provide data transparency throughout the sales process – maintaining all documented communications and records of customer purchase history and behaviour – can provide compelling evidence to build effective dispute responses for improved revenue recovery.

 

Reduce disputes with collaboration

To be most effective, all communication should be coordinated across consumers, sellers, and issuers. By practicing transparency and opening the lines of communication, consumers can self-resolve disputes or address them directly with sellers. Sellers can share information with issuers, so issuers can deliver vital purchasing data to their customers, thus minimising customer confusion that could result in disputes. Such collaborative technologies are now coming into the payments ecosystem, fostered in large part by major card brands.

It isn’t just sellers that benefit by supporting data transparency for their customers. 70% of customers contact their issuer’s call centre at some point in the dispute process[4]. This creates an unnecessary workload for issuers, as many questions and disputes could have been expediently handled by the seller by providing their customers with essential transaction information.

Data-sharing solutions enable sellers to provide purchase information to card issuers, which in turn can be delivered to customers through online banking channels or reviewed by customer services personnel at the point of transaction inquiry. Not only can these services help prevent unnecessary disputes, but also provide a more enhanced experience for customers in the post-transaction phase of the payment lifecycle.

 

Don’t lose touch

Dispute strategies should be underpinned by efforts to build a bridge of trust with your customers – using email, text, digital receipts – which includes, and in some ways depends on, issuer collaboration. Embracing digital alternatives is key; as multichannel retailing becomes commonplace, so should multichannel customer service.

 

[1] Customer experience in the new reality, KPMG

[2] Aite Improving the Dispute Experience May 2020

[3] Aite Improving the Dispute Experience May 2020

[4] Javelin Report – Optimizing Dispute Strategies / October 2020

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