Database Planning Guide

The purpose of our Database Planning Guide is to encourage active participation in the planning and development of your business software. Following our guide will go a long way to ensuring you get the best database software outcome at the most affordable price. Failing to plan is akin to planning to fail, and nobody wants that.

Plan your Database


A well-designed and well planned database will maximize the potential of your business data, and let you more 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. No amount of pre planning and review of functional requirments can be too much.

Establish the information that is 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, they will provide a vital insight to your current practices.

Follow our software planning guide and spend time planning and documenting your needs. The clearer you can be about your requirments the quicker your database developer will understand your requirements, ultimately saving you both time and money.

Most importantly, seek advice from your 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 or planned for. Just in case we have not been clear, planning, planning and more planning is the key.


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 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.