Knowing the Business

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I mentioned the other day that I'm teaching a college course at the University of Washington, and as part of that we're doing a complete database project from requirements gathering to a completed database with all its objects. The students have done a great job on the requirements "probing questions" section, and it brought up a design question. How much should the database designer know about the business to guide them in helping design the database?

There is a school of thought that says the Business or the Business Analyst should know what the organization does and the technical staff should focus on the technology, not the business side of things. That may be fine for some groups, but for the data tier I disagree. I think the database designer should learn as much as time permits about the business and process flow through tthe company. If they don't, they have to live with the design changes later anyway. It just makes for a smoother process for the technical staff to "reach out" a little to the business.

Hey - us DBAs don't have enough to do anyway, correct? :)

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  • In the company that I work for, we usually have to know the process flow better than our business analysts. this way we can help them to fix their process that usually have some flaws that they just can't see. This takes more time in the design process, but this surelly save a lot of time and re-work in the future..

    regards

  • Great BAs are hard to find.  Hard to find and indespensable.  If you have only a moderately decent BA, you have to do extra reach-out work.

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