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Chapter 2. Organizing Data Efficiently > Developing a Data Structure Strategy

Developing a Data Structure Strategy

The most important part of creating a relational database is determining how you'll organize the data you've listed. The easiest way to visualize the task is to imagine your database as a series of spreadsheets. Each spreadsheet is a logical grouping of fields that belong together. Each individual column heading is a major category of information. Each row is a set of fields with entries in the columns. The column headings become the field headings in your database. Your mission is to match up the right set of column headings for each spreadsheet.

The best way to start this process is to segment the information into categories, and avoid putting too many columns in each category so you don't go crazy working with too many variables at once. Look for modules of information that can be logically grouped (Figure 2.1).


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