This course focuses on the design and development of database applications with an emphasis on sound database design. Database design is a business problem, not a data problem. To successfully design a database, the analyst needs to understand the information of the organization. This includes using all the data research and analysis techniques available, as well as searching inside their toolbox to select those tools that allow the analyst to understand the business the organization is in. Information is data within a particular context. Thus, if the person understands the information required by the organization, he/she will be able to organize the data in such a way that answers the questions required by the organization. Although governed by a number of rules and standards, database design is an art. Only practice allows an individual to learn what suits each particular need. This course covers database design, including how to select the best database for the task at hand. Relational databases and non-relational databases each have their strengths and weaknesses, and this course explains the different types and when to use, or not use, them.
Harvard Division of Continuing Education