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Chapter 2. The Basics of Database Design > Planning and Designing the HelloWorl... - Pg. 44

The Basics of Database Design 44 · Manage the workflow involved in coordinating each campaign. Be able to define tasks and as- sign them to employees, track the status of each task, rank the priority of a task, and provide a means for the employee assigned to a task to comment on its status. Do as much probing as you can about the requirements of a database as you start planning one. Here are some questions you can explore as you formalize a plan: · What business needs does the database address? Write down some simple statements about the tasks you want the database to handle--for example, "Customers buy products" or "Sup- pliers sell us products." Also write down characteristics of the objects the database will track-- "Tasks have a priority," "Each expense needs to be categorized." · Will one person enter data or will several? Will everyone who uses the database have access to all the information it stores, or do you need to restrict access to some information because it is confidential? · How is the information you want the database to manage currently collected? Is it in a group of separate spreadsheets or other types of documents? How is the information labeled and clas- sified in the documents? What calculations and summaries are used to analyze the data? · Is the data collected on printed forms? Are your information needs the same now as when a form was introduced? Are any areas of a form no longer used? Who fills out these forms now, and do each of these individuals have regular access to a computer? · Is the data you're trying to organize text, numbers, images, or a mixture of data types? · What sort of reports are prepared from the data? Who prepares the reports, and who reads them? · What sort of analysis is performed on the data you're going to store? Do you divide your products or services into different categories or regions, for example? Do you need some reports monthly