A database is a structured collection of data organised and stored in a way that enables efficient retrieval, manipulation, and management of information. It serves as a centralised repository for storing and managing data, allowing users and applications to access, modify, and query data as needed. Databases typically consist of one or more tables, each containing rows and columns that represent individual records and their attributes. These tables are interconnected through relationships, which help maintain data integrity and consistency. Databases are designed to handle large volumes of data efficiently, providing features such as indexing, transactions, and concurrency control to ensure data reliability and performance. They come in various types, including relational databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL), NoSQL databases (e.g., MongoDB, Cassandra), and specialised databases for specific purposes (e.g., data warehouses, graph databases), each offering different data models, query languages, and scalability options to meet diverse needs.