Planning Guide

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Database Software Solutions & Development Guide

To properly manage your business you must manage your data. This is where a well-designed database application can make a big difference to your business. By helping you to record, manage and share your business information quickly and easily, a good data management system will reduce your workload and costs, and increase your control and the productivity of your business. It will provide a valuable insight into the way your business is operating.
Any data management system that you implement must take into account the specific needs of your business. Before you begin, take some time to determine the purpose and needs of the database you require. What information will you want to put into the database? What information will you want to get out of the database? Draw up some headings of information you will need to enter into the database with some field names under each heading. Draft layouts or collect samples for any document or report outputs you require. All this will help to clarify your specific needs.

The following is a list of questions to be considered when planning your database.

Purpose

  • Why do you need a database?
  • What information will you need to store, process and retrieve?
  • What are the functional requirements, including outputs?

User Requirements

  • How many people will use the database?
  • Will there be common categories into which users can be grouped? What are they?
  • What functions do the user groups now perform that can be incorporated into the database?
  • Which users will need to: add new records, edit existing records, add new data to existing records, or view only?
  • What new functions could be incorporated in the database to enhance productivity?
  • Are emails messages to be generated in response to the addition or change of data?
  • In what environment will the database operate?

Security

  • Will different user groups require varying access levels? If so, what are they?
  • How sensitive is the data?
  • Which users should be allowed to view each of the reports?
  • Does the underlying program code need to be protected to prevent the program being copied?

Training & Implementation

  • Will training be required?
  • Can training be minimised by incorporating an intuitive user interface?
  • Have relevant policies and procedures been developed?
  • How are users going to receive training on using the database?
  • What user documentation is required?
  • Will a parallel “trial system” enable users to become familiar with it before “going live”?

Timing & Budget

  • When does the database need to be fully operational?
  • What are the budgetary limitations?
  • Who is going to manage the implementation and operation of the database?