A database is a collection of information that is related to a particular subject or purpose, such as tracking customer orders or maintaining a music collection. If your database isn't stored on a computer, or only parts of it are, you may be tracking information from a variety of sources that you must coordinate and organize.
For example, suppose the phone numbers of your suppliers are stored in various locations: in a card file containing supplier phone numbers, in product information files in a file cabinet, and in a spreadsheet containing order information. If a supplier's phone number changes, you might have to update that information in all three places. In a well-designed Access database, the phone number is stored just once, so you only have to update that information in one place. As a result, when you update a supplier's phone number, it is automatically updated wherever you use it in the database.