Monday, January 18, 2010


I am involved in more than one project involving databases that vary is size and complexity. Thankfully, I don't have to do all (or even most) of the database work myself. I am coming to appreciate the immense value of a skilled database designer.

Last fall I spent weeks learning a new program and designing a database so that I could more easily enter and then manipulate my data, only to give up when I couldn't figure out how to make it do the queries I needed. I got some help during the process from a department lab tech who has experience with databases, but he didn't know the particular program I was using. Today we talked about my database again (he knows I gave up on it a few months ago), and he wants to use it to teach himself the program! He wants to work on my database for free. I'm thrilled! Maybe it will be usable after all.


Transient Theorist said...

That's fantastic! I struggled this past fall with trying to quickly pick up enough MySQL to be able to query an existing database - it was very frustrating. I ended up getting a query that did most of what I wanted, and then doing the rest of the manipulation by hand in excel (ouch!!). It would be such a useful skill to learn/know!!!

Karina said...

I'm trying to use FileMakerPro. I ended up doing some data sorting in excel too.

The larger database project I'm involved in will use MySQL, but I won't be doing the programming at all. I'm just involved in conveying the purpose, functionality, and data cleaning.