DBMS - Interview Questions and Answers

  1. Describe why operational and informational systems are separate.
    Operational systems are used to run the business in real time on a daily basis and contain current data. Non-managers and non-analysts work in this type of system. Operational systems must process large volumes of data. Informational systems are used to support decisions and contain historical data. Managers and analysts work in this type of system. Informational systems have periodic batch updates.
  2. Describe a data warehouse.
    A data warehouse is organized around specific subjects. The data is defined using consistent naming, format, and encoding structure standards. The data contains a time element, so that the data can be studied for trends. No data in a data warehouse can be updated by end users.
  3. Explain why an information gap exists in most organizations.
    One reason that an information gap exists is the fact that systems have been developed in separate, segmented efforts. This has helped the data from being stored in an integrated database and thus the data is in an inconsistent structure. The other reason for the gap is that most systems are created to support the operational aspect of an organization. The systems were not developed for decision making.
  4. Describe the differences between a data warehouse and data mart.
    A data warehouse is for the enterprise and contains multiple subjects. A data mart is for a specific functional area and focuses on one subject. A data warehouse is flexible and data-oriented and contains detailed historical data. A data mart is restrictive and project-oriented and contains some historical data.
  5. Describe the difference between data and database administration.
    Data administration is responsible for the overall management of data resources. Some of the core roles include the creation of data polices, procedures and standards, resolve data ownership issues, and manage the information repository. Database administration is physical database oversight. Some of the core duties include the selection of the DBMS and software tools, the installation and upgrade of the DBMS, and database performance tuning.
  6. What are some of the important security features of a DBMS?
    One of the features includes the use of views which allows the presentation of only data needed by someone and limits the capability of database updates. The use of integrity controls includes such things as domains, assertions, and checks. Also authorization rules, user-defined procedures, encryption, authentication schemes, and backups are important.

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