Selecting a Database
Choosing a new database is a big decision with long-term impact on a program’s ability to manage and protect survivor information. When choosing a database, you need to consider more than whether this database will meet my needs (collect and store the information that I need it to and export this information into reports) but also other very important considerations, such as confidentially obligations, security designs, privacy requirements, and more. This page includes resources and information on how you can select the best database for your program.
How To Choose A Database
The following are handouts and a recording on what to consider when choosing a database.
- 5 Characteristics of a Secure & Victim-Centered Database
- Database Tipsheet & Specialized System Databases Tipsheet
- Selecting A Database Chart
- Databases, Confidentiality & Third Parties
- In House Services vs. Cloud Based Services
- Choosing a Database Recording. This is a recording of a conference call discussing best practices and tips on selecting databases for domestic violence and sexual assault programs. The call was hosted on June 23, 2014. The speakers are Alicia Aiken, the Confidentiality Institute, and Cindy Southworth, the Safety Net Project at NNEDV.
Which Databases Should I Consider for My Domestic /Sexual Violence Program?
Safety Net and Confidentiality Institute want programs to make fully informed decisions about which database best suits the specific needs of the program. While we do not endorse nor veto any database product, we do offer technical assistance about the pros and cons of a particular database when used to manage survivor information.
Some years ago, we invited database vendors to complete a detailed 7-page questionnaire about their databases. The topics in the questionnaire included (1) customization, (2) privacy and safety, (3) support, (4) data retention, (5) ownership and control, (6) reports and report designer, (7) access to data, (8) data storage methods, and (9) company history and standard contract terms.
Since we first shared this information, some vendors have changed their practices, and new vendors have entered the marketplace. In the interest of not providing outdated information, and because the presentation of specific vendor information was sometimes misunderstood as an endorsement of particular vendors, we have taken down the old interviews and questionnaires. Please stay tuned for updated content.
Please watch this Introduction to Database Features video to understand the questions asked, and key considerations when selecting a database.