Slow Database System Woes

One of the most common questions people ask me is, “How can we improve system performance?”

If your system has an agonizingly slow response time, you know it’s wasting employee time. You probably fear it will crash. It could be costing you customers too. Or maybe you’ve had some IT people look into it, but their remedies don’t seem to make much difference.

Systems can be slow for any number of reasons and, as you’d surmise, troubleshooting the problem is unique to each database. Sometimes database are slow because of business growth; it may be time to migrate to a new technology to handle larger volumes of data. Sometimes the problem is too many people accessing the system when it is not sized accordingly, or maybe your hardware is in need of an upgrade.

But most often, time and time again, I find databases are slow because they are structured inefficiently. For example, the program loads all the data for each table when it isn’t necessary. Or the program had so many authors over time, everything is indexed differently or not indexed at all. If you find your problem is due to database structure, make sure you aren’t paying for patches to a program that will later give you grief. In some cases, it is more cost efficient in the short and long term to start anew.