IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD DATABASE

Posted by Lesley Roberts on 16 August 2017 | permalink | comment

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Phew. What a few months we have had. And we re-launched our series of newsletters in July, using MailChimp. And guess what? We, the purveyors of fine database etiquette discovered that we had a database that didn’t fit the rules! We had to laugh but we transferred a database we were using in one piece of in-house software into MailChimp and discovered we needed to add in two extra fields in order for it to be utilised properly.

Which prompted me to write today’s blog about the importance of a good database.

And what, you may ask, makes a good database? And how do you know whether it is good or not?

So, here are five key things to think about when making a good database.

  1. Name your tables, fields, keys names that make sense

e.g. "Account" instead of "ColumnA"

  1. Don't store text which you then have to parse to make sense of.

e.g. don't store an address "1 High St, Town, Inner London, NW 1AA" as a single entry.

  1. Store data in the best type

e.g. store numbers as numbers, not as text

  1. keep all your data in one place.

e.g. don’t store your data in lots of different files so that exporting it can be easy

  1. Keep a copy of your data in a .csv file that can be easily updated and ready to import into software like MailChimp

We’re not ashamed to admit that even we get it wrong sometimes. The good news is that although we fell down on the fields creation, we knew all of the data in our database was clean! And that’s another blog.

To find out more about databases in general and the services we offer please visit our website.

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