Advantages of Using Summary Data
Until recently, most business decisions were based on summary data. The problem is that summarized data is not as useful as detail data and cannot answer some questions with accuracy. With summarized data, peaks and valleys are leveled when the peaks fall at the end of reporting period and are cut in half.
Here’s another example. Think of your monthly bank statement that records checking account activity. If it only told you the total amount of deposits and withdrawals, would you be able to tell if a certain check had cleared? To answer that question you need a list of every check received by your bank. You need detail data.
Decision support-answering business questions-is the real purpose of databases. To answer business questions, decision-makers must have four things:
- The right data
- Enough detail data
- Proper data structure
- Enough computer power to access and produce reports on the data