Databases can be kinda confusing, so don't worry too much if you haven't "got it" immediately, aod
So a company has 100 employees and they are growing.
They need to access data from more than one place.
A fairly typical scenario.
What is (should be) in the data base?
How should it be organized?
Those are a couple underlying questions.
So you try to answer them.
Keep in mind, as you do,
that for a database to work well it needs to have at least one unique identifier.
A good example might be an employee number.
One thing that is not shared by anyone (anything) else.
In regards to this discussion board, for instance, each member has a "joined" number that no one else has.
With that in mind, some things a company might keep track of are:
- employee name
- employee number
- employee address
- employee telephone number(s)
- employee hire date
- employee termination date
- employee work title
- employee work location
- employee responsibility list
- employee wage or salary
- employee tax status
- employee health insurance data
- employee benefits
- employee time records
- employee vacation schedule
- employee educational records
The list can go on further, but you will begin to see things fall into categories:
Personnel Dept information
Payroll Dept information
Production Dept information
The company no doubt produces (markets/sells) something.
If it manufacturers a product, what needs to be documented?
Plant Facility information:
- Building(s) Real Estate Information
- floor plans
- property details
- market value details
- production equipment inventory
- manpower & work schedule information
- Raw material inventory
- inventory amounts
- inventory sources
- inventory production use schedule(s)
- shipping/receiving details involving inventory item(s)
To answer business-related questions you will need to understand the
nature of the business first.
A manufacturering business, for example, typically buys material(s)
and turns it into something to sell.
Employees work for owner(s) who might also hire consultants and/or
use a board of directors.
People who are paid to assist in some way.
The product is packaged and shipped to places where it is sold.
So, transportation cost(s) & packaging (advertising, also) is involved.
Maybe the product(s) are sold in quantity to others who sell them
Wholesale marketing to those who Retail market them.
The details of constructing and managing a database can be found within
the textbooks written for software programs like Microsoft Access.
What may not be mentioned in quite the same way in those sources
is what I'm trying to help you with.
Seeing the "papertrail" that leads to ACCOUNTING for the money spent
and what spending it does to lead to PROFIT.
How the profit is spent.
Think about it this way:
- Employee 501 (Bill) comes to work at 6:00am
- He punches a timeclock and walks into building Nine
- His boss says good morning and he walks over to his machine.
- Turns it on and begins his day making a part of the product.
- At 10:00 a forktruck lifts 345 pieces he has made and bundled
- The forklift driver moves them to Building Ten
- Bill takes lunch at 11:00, for a half hour.
- He heads back to his work station and fills in forms about what he does.
- The forms are picked up by a guy who rounds up production records twice a day and takes them to the office. Maybe he needs a workstation computer?
- At 2:00 Bill has a break where he talks with some other employees about the softball game this weekend between Building Nine & the Office(s)
- He works late, and so some of his hours are overtime pay.
- He punches the clock at 5:00 and walks back to his car parked in the employee parking lot.
- Shows his employee badge at the gate and (thank heavens) calls it a day 10 minutes later.
Since Bill is 1% of a hundred employee company, it's easy to see why
YOU, the computer-knowledgable person, NEEDS to keep track of what is going on.
So, bottomline is this:
- One or more databases are needed to keep track of facts
- one guy (or thing) can be a fact within several categories of facts
- Bill is one of many in Building Nine
- Bill's work is one of many in The Product
Your job is to build smaller units that store facts in the larger overall picture.
Unique identifiers like [one employee] or [one product number] will make it possible
to have data about many of similar (but unique) contributing factors collected
and understood using mathematics.
The unique info becomes a TABLE
Other TABLES are built to combine data for the purpose of control/observation.
Maybe that helps a little?