Collecting and Analyzing Data
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
EMPLOYEE, and the DEPARTMENT.
- Identify the characteristics of those objects. For example, the
EMPLOYEEentity might include such information as
SALARY, and so on.
- Identify certain relationships between the objects For example, how do the
DEPARTMENTentities 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.