Trail Mix Databases
One of the most anticipated features of a road trip is the bag of homemade trail mix. The mere sight of a large resealable bag filled with a wide array of nuts, raisins, and other dried fruit sets the adventurous spirit flying. When that trail mix is adorned with the primary colors of M&Ms or chocolate chips, you know that the trip is going to unforgettable.
When it comes to satisfying our sweet tooth or gaining a protein boost, trail mix is something we all desire. The sound of the container lid opening gets those saliva glands working every time. When it comes to the organization of your database, a trail mix like experience threatens the validity, accessibility, and timeliness of decision-influencing insight. Not to mention the frustration experience due to the reduced level of usability.
Do you have tables with hundreds of columns with varying degrees of relevance to the table name? Do you have columns with names that have nothing to do with the value contained within them (AKA: the old “repurpose the deprecated column” habit)? Do you continuously reference the ERD to correctly join tables in your query? Is the data contained within the database unpredictable in quality and completeness? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might very well be dealing with a trail mix database.
Resolving the trail mix database condition starts with evaluating your data environment and how the data is handled. This includes gaining an understanding of the processes that surround the life cycle of the data contained within the database. The solutions to the trail mix syndrome can consist of data cleansing, normalization, schema re-design, abstraction, and separating your transactional and analytical schemas. It all depends on the style of trail mix you are encountering.
With our 25 years of experience with database design, there isn’t much we haven’t seen or encountered. If you have a trail mix like database and are ready to address it, we can help. Please reach out to us on our contact us page.