Good database design is essential for reliable, complete and accurate data. Certain principles lead the way in database design. These principles include not having redundant data and ensuring all information is complete and correct. When you know that your database is properly designed, you can trust it to make strategic decisions.
Let’s learn more about the importance of good database design and seven steps to achieve it.
Why Good Database Design Matters
Let’s look closer at the guiding principles in database design.
The first principle addresses duplicate information. Redundant data is considered bad because it wastes space and increases the chances of making errors. This is understandable, as repeating data can show up in reports when it doesn’t need to be there.
The second principle is that all information within the database must be correct and complete. If your database contains inaccurate information, any reports pulled from the database will be misleading.
To have good database design, your database should be able to do the following:
- Divide information into subject-based tables
- Support the accuracy and integrity of the data
- Give Access the information it needs to join information together
- Accommodate data processing and reporting needs
Seven Steps to Achieving Good Database Design
To ensure good database design, here are seven steps to follow.
1. Determine your database’s purpose. There are multiple types of database management systems, such as relational databases, object databases and graph databases. Determine what database will best fit your needs.
2. Find and organize information. Gather all types of information you might want to enter into the database like product names and order numbers.
3. Divide the information into tables. Organize your information based on subjects or categories, such as Products or Orders. Each subject becomes its own table.
4. Place information items into columns. Decide what information you want to store in each table. Each item becomes a field and is displayed as a column in a table. For example, a Customers table might include First Name, Last Name and Address.
5. Specify primary keys. Choose a primary key for each table. The primary key is used to identify each row, such as Product ID or Order ID.
6. Establish relationships. Decide how the information is related to the information in other tables. Add fields to tables or create new tables if you need to reinforce the relationships.
7. Refine your design. Review your design for errors. Create tables and see if you can get accurate data. Also, apply normalization rules to make sure your tables are structured properly.
While you don’t need to be a coding expert to use Microsoft Access, good database design requires some experience. To have a database built or optimized for your company, contact Arkware today.