ICT systems databases serve three primary purposes: as operational tools (Operational Database), as tools for supporting decision-making (Decision-Support Database), as tools for deploying data around the organization (Mass-Deployment Database).
Such databases are used to collect operational data. Operational databases are used to support standard organizational functions by providing reliable, timely and valid data. The primary usages of such databases include the creating, reading, updating and deleting of data – sometimes referred to as the CRUD activities.
DECISION SUPPORT DATABASES
Such databases are used as data repositories from which to retrieve information for the support of organizational decision-making. Such databases are read only databases. They are designed to facilitate the use of query tools or custom applications.
MASS DEPLOYMENT DATABASES
Such databases are used to deliver data to the desktop. Generally such databases are single-user tools running under some PC-based DBMS such as Microsoft Access. They may be updated on a regular basis either from production or decision-support databases.
In terms of a university, an operational database will probably be needed to maintain an ongoing record of student progression.
In terms of a university, a decision-support database may be needed to monitor recruitment and retention patterns among a student population.
In terms of a university, a mass-deployment database will be needed by each lecturer to maintain an ongoing record of student attendance at lectures and tutorials.