There was a time not so long ago when databases ruled the world.
When I say “databases” I’m referring to huge collections of data, all neatly slotted into long, wide tables in precise order, last name first, first name last. Remember the phone book, neatly arranged by correctly-spelled last name, first name, and initials and stamped onto dead tree matter? And there are military service records, and credit card account statements, all nice and precise and regular, every bit organized and in its proper place. There are rules, and math, and Cod’s Twelve Laws for Relational Databases. Those things still exist, of course, and a relational database is still a great and useful invention for keeping organized, regular, disciplined data.
Great, but. It’s really easy to lose data in a relational database. Oh, it’sin there, but you have tofind it. Don’t know how to spell a name? One digit wrong in the account number? The description has a paragraph in it somewhere that talks about the CFO’s villa in Tuscany? Oops, no hits. You may be out of luck.