Collecting and Analyzing Data

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Go Up to Designing Databases


Before designing the database objects—the tables and columns—you need to organize and analyze the real-world data on a conceptual level. There are four primary goals:

  • Identify the major functions and activities of your organization. For example: hiring employees, shipping products, ordering parts, processing paychecks, and so on.
  • Identify the objects of those functions and activities. Building a business operation or transaction into a sequence of events will help you identify all of the entities and relationships the operation entails. For example, when you look at a process like “hiring employees,” you can immediately identify entities such as the JOB, the EMPLOYEE, and the DEPARTMENT.
  • Identify the characteristics of those objects. For example, the EMPLOYEE entity might include such information as EMPLOYEE_ID, FIRST_NAME, LAST_NAME, JOB, SALARY, and so on.
  • Identify certain relationships between the objects  For example, how do the EMPLOYEE, JOB, and DEPARTMENT entities relate to each other? The employee has one job title and belongs to one department, while a single department has many employees and jobs. Simple graphical flow charts help to identify the relationships.

Relationships.png

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