What is a Database View? (And How Does It Help Business Intelligence)

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Users can use database views in SQL database queries for various use cases in the context of data reporting and analytics. Specifically, database views are excellent for generating custom reports.

But what exactly is a database view, and what are the benefits and use cases of using one?

This article will answer the question: what is a database view, and how does it help business intelligence? Let’s take a look.

What is a Database View?

A relational database view is also known as an SQL view. A database view is essentially a subset of an SQL database. It is based on a query that can run on one or several databases.

Database views are typically saved in an SQL database as labeled queries, and they can be used to save queries that are very complex or are constantly being used repeatedly.

All databases have database views for data mining, including Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Oracle.

Essentially, a database view can flatten complex data into a format that makes it much easier to create dashboards and reports.

Database views can significantly increase the overall performance of reports while also allowing the database to organize all the data that the user can query through simple queries such as a power query instead of very complex and resource-intensive real-time queries. The data you are storing in a data warehouse can benefit from database views in data warehousing.

Using Database Views and Use Cases

There are several use cases for database views. They are quite helpful for simplifying queries, to start. Database views also make it much easier to avoid magic numbers and the tendency to repeat the same joins on different queries. Database views also make it possible to change underlying data structures without changing the queries that your applications might be using.

Just as well, database views are great for improving security in your database. One can choose to allow access to a particular view to users who need (or should) be able to see the columns that are returned from that view.

This can be particularly helpful if you are not entirely trusting of a party or entity sending specific queries into your database. For example, if you have a contract worker working on a specific project, you could create a specific view of tables relevant to their project and nothing else.

The Benefits of The Database View

There are quite a few benefits to using database views in the context of dashboards and reporting:

  • They make query commands so much more simple.
  • If you deal with sensitive information, there are other tools you can use to secure your database and choose who can see what within your database. They can improve data security, especially in raw data. However, it is worth noting that it isn’t wise to rely specifically on and only on database views for security.
  • They can reduce code duplication. A database view can significantly simplify your query parameter and schema changes if you have a query that will need to be used in more than two places.
  • They are very efficient. Users can easily optimize joins to be as simple and effective as possible for other users for data visualization and data science in general.
  • Query result caching becomes easier. This database view can cache to results of a specific view in memory. These glimpses are quick since the query itself doesn’t need to run. Rather, the DBMS you are using delivers the cached results from memory.
  • They make consistent data a possibility. Each user that needs to use a view will need to get very consistent results. Typically, one would require each user to build their SQL to access certain datasets. With database views, this is no longer necessary.
  • They improve data security and overall control. One can control which users can access certain views by displaying tables in a certain way, by role, or via login credentials.
  • Database views don’t have to store data in physical locations.
  • You can easily hide some of your sheet’s columns from a particular table.
  • They can be helpful when it comes to doing complex joins and grouping via aliases.
  • Database views can improve overall programming and coding productivity.
  • You can change controls with ease. If you need to change a database view, you can easily control when the change occurs and test it quickly.
  • Database views contain the most recent base table data and use very little storage space, which can be excellent for businesses and startups with fewer storage resources.
  • Query cashing can provide faster runtimes. Some databases need to cache queries for database views to run faster when the view is called. This will depend on the type of DBMS your organization is using. Users can even choose the query to stay in memory for some databases.
  • You can establish physical independence for your data with database views.

The Disadvantages of The Database View

With the above advantages in mind, there are some downsides to using database views:

  • Database views are not very flexible. It can be time-consuming and not very easy to build a single view that can benefit everyone that uses the database. Just as well, by limiting the widespread use of database tables to more standard views, you might be limiting how well your integrated applications can use the data.
  • If a table is dropped, views attached to that table are lost.
  • Each time a database view is referenced, it might use up a lot of processing time.
  • Automated testing has its downfalls. Automated tests might not be able to account for how a database view works. The test can best verify the results that come back every time the query attached to the database view is run.
  • Depending on your database, you might not be able to update your views directly. A great BI tool is needed for this in data analytics and business analytics.

DashboardFox and the Database Views: How This Works

The database view is indeed a necessity in business intelligence, as it offers a lot of convenience and stability to many businesses and individuals alike. However, as mentioned earlier, you will need a great BI tool that can help you optimize the database view to produce more for your needs.

DashboardFox provides the presentation layer that you need in order to secure the data for the sake of those who need it the most.

DashboardFox is well-known for its superb business intelligence and data visualization features, and database views would greatly benefit from it when you use DashboardFox as a complete BI stack.

DashboardFox is in the self-service, codeless category of BI tools. While complex queries are possible, they require advanced features of DashboardFox that may be too difficult for You can just achieve a non-technical user or easily by copying in SQL code. Since DashboardFox doesn’t allow the direct entry of SQL code, the use of SQL Stored Procedures or Database views is ideal.

Apart from that, its one-payment-only policy without the need for any subscription plans, its self-hosted build, and its dedicated team willing to give all users the VIP experience are all great features that businesses can use for their benefit.

What are you waiting for? Reach out to us for a meeting or schedule a live demo for free to see what we can offer to the table.

How was our guide to using Database View for business intelligence? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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