Database Planning Guide

Database planning guarantees superior software, quicker development & cost savings

Plan your Database

A well-designed, well scoped and planned database maximizes the potential of your business data, allowing you to more effectively share information throughout your organization. Developing effective business data management software doesn't just happen, it requires proper planning and a keen understanding of the functionality the software is expected to deliver to each of the stakeholders. No amount of pre planning and reviewing of functional requirements should be considered too much.

Establish what information should be collected and grouped in the database. Decide on the reports the database will produce now and might be planned for the future. Consider the functionality the software can provide, replace or automate. The more time spent on planning the better the results the database can produce. If the database replaces an existing task, collect and analyse the spreadsheets and documents currently supporting that task; this information will provide your developer with vital insights on your current business practices.

If you follow our database software planning guide and spend time preparing, planning, and documenting your needs, the more precisely, and clearly, you can communicate your database requirements. Doing so will help your developer to more quickly understand your requirements, which ultimately will result in saving you both time and money.

Most importantly, and often overlooked is the opportunity to seek advice from your database developer about new or additional functionality available in modern database systems that could benefit your business. An experienced software developer has likely developed similar software with other clients and can draw on experience to suggest options or improvements you might not have planned for or considered. And just in case we have not made the point sufficiently, planning, planning, and more planning is key to developing best-fit database software.

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.


  • 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 existing business functions are you planning to replace?
  • 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 or software guide 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 & client meeting

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