If you open your wallet, almost everything you see is a source of information for companies or government agencies. This information is stored in databases. Databases are software tools that allow the computer to analyze vast amounts of data. These companies and organizations will share this data and use that information for many purposes including direct marketing, inventory control, and purchasing patterns. Credit cards, supermarket loyalty cards, library cards, and driver's licenses are all sources of this information.
Credit card companies obtain a huge amount of data from the use of their cards. By using a database, they can track your purchasing patterns, adjust your credit limit, and modify your credit rating. When you use a credit card, the place of purchase instantly knows your name, address, phone number, age, and marital status. They will also know if you have previously shopped at their store, your credit rating, and your remaining credit balance.
This knowledge is due to information stored in multi-dynamic computer databases.
Supermarket loyalty cards have become a popular way for stores and customers to benefit from each other. In order for customers to take advantage of weekly sales, they use their loyalty card. What many people do not realize is that each time a supermarket customer uses a loyalty card, the store records every single item purchased. A huge database maintains the data, along with the customer's personal information. The database keeps records of all purchases made with a loyalty card.
Stores believe that these detailed records help them to improve customer service. They can use direct marketing to each customer based on their individual shopping history. For example, if you always purchase Colgate toothpaste, you may receive coupons for Crest toothpaste.
Library cards are another portal to databases. Libraries use them to track which...