I'm mostly a system administrator and I don't directly work with databases other than installing them, setting up accounts, granting privileges, and so on. I realized that if The Boss walked up to me and asked, "What is a relational database?" I probably couldn't give a satisfactory answer... I'd maybe mumble something about data being stored and organized by categories which you can query with a special programing language (i.e., SQL).
So could someone give a good "Boss Answer" for what a relational database is? And maybe how its different than just storing data on a file server? Bonus points for clever but accessible analogies and explaining tables, columns, records and fields. I'd define a "Boss Answer" as a quick one (maybe two) paragraph explanation for non-technical folks... mostly your Boss, on those rare occasions they actually ask you what it is you do all day.