Database Planning Guide

The purpose of the Database Planning Guide is to encourage your active participation in the development of your business software, ensuring you receive the best possible database software solution at the most affordable price.

Plan your Database


A well-designed database will maximize the potential of your business data, and effectively share that information across your organization. Developing effective business data management software requires proper planning and a keen understanding of the functionality the software is expected to deliver.

Establish the information to be collected, decide on the reports the database should produce, and consider the functionality the software can provide, replace or automate. The more time spent on planning the better the resulting database software will be. If the database replaces an existing task, collect and analyse the spreadsheets or other documents currently used for that task.

The more time you spend planning the database and documenting your needs, the quicker the database developer will understand your requirements, ultimately saving you both time and money.

Most importantly, seek advice from the database developer on what new or additional functionality is available in modern database systems that might benefit your business. A good software developer has likely developed similar software for other clients and can draw on that experience to suggest options and/or improvements that you may not as yet considered.


Database Planning Considerations

Whilst it is not exhaustive, the following list should provide you with a good starting point for planning your own business database management solution.

Purpose

  • Identify the purpose of the database?
  • Establish what business information the database will store?
  • Is the database required to perform calculations or analysis on the data?
  • Which functions will the database perform?
  • What reports are required, and how should the information be grouped or filtered?

User Requirements

  • How many users will require simultaneous access to the database?
  • Are there common categories in which the users can be grouped?
  • Do all users have permission to add, edit and delete records in the database?
  • Will data entry be via user input, automated data importation or both?
  • Do you plan on generating and sending emails directly from the software?

Data & Software Security

  • Will users require different levels of access?
  • Is the stored data sensitive?
  • Which users/groups have access to particular data or reports?
  • Does the underlying database design/coding require access protection?
  • Is there a requirement to prevent the copying of the database?

Implementation & Training

  • How will users be trained to use the software?
  • Can training be minimised by employing a highly intuitive user interface?
  • How, where and who will deliver the training to new users?
  • What, if any, user documentation will be required?
  • Will the database be a stand-alone system on a single PC or shared across a network?

Timing & Budget

  • When does the database need to be fully operational?
  • Are there budgetary limitations to be planned for?
  • Can user functionality be phased-in or is it all required in the initial software build?
  • Who will maintain and administer the operation of the database?
  • Will the database be a stand-alone system on a single PC or shared across a network?
Database developer meeting for advice

Have a questions or need some help to plan your business database, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us for advice.