A centralised database holds all of an organisation's data on a central computer such as a mainframe computer or server. Users in the organisation can access the data from their own PC or terminal.
The advantages of the database being centralised
- easier to organise, edit, update and back-up the data
- less data duplication - data is only entered once but can be accessed by many users
- data integrity - becuase data is stored once different data is no longer held in different databases in various departments around the organisation
The impact on an organisation of using a centralised database can be huge. It can greatly increase productivity and efficiency.
For example, in an ordering system, a customer may phone orders and gives notice that their address has changed; when the order operator changes that address it has been changed across the system. If the accounts department then wish to send a statement to the customer they will have the customer's new address.
Previously this would have been changed in the order database and the accounts database separately.