Analyze the business object

Select a business object from the top of the pile. Remember the easy ones are on top. You work your way to the complex ones. You'll have a better understanding of what you're working with when you get to them.

Analyzing the business object is a three-step process:

a. Name the object
b. List the attributes
c. Identify the entities

A business object is only a view of the data in a database. It only contains some of the data in the database. So you need to analyze many business objects to discover what the scope and elements of the problem are. It's a X step process.

2. Populate the entities

a. Name the object
b. List the attributes
c. Identiy the entities

2. Apply the test for normalized

a. Name the object
b. List the attributes
c. Identiy the entities

It is the role of the Data Analyst to identify all the explicit data, but also to identify all of the data and relationships that are implied by the application and to foresee all of the ways those data and relationships will be used.

Let's take a look at the data model for this common business object. It has a common parent-child, one-to-many relationship. One employee reports their project details weekly:

If the traditional database design approach were taken, based on this business object, the database would consist of two tables. One table would contain the form heading stuff and the second table would contain the line item detail stuff.

And that's why we've been building and rebuilding systems and databases forever. There's a whole lot missing. Here's what's really in the "simple" Purchase Order.

The solid blue lines represent the objects required to support the Purchase Order and all of it's underlying relationships. The dotted lines represent data not discovered but implied.

Do you think a manager might want to have his or her project hours at his or her fingertips?

Hopefully, this tutorial will take you from modeling that legacy view of a business object to being a Pro-From-Dover data modeler. Oh, and this is the "short-cut" method.