Business Rules
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What constraints do common sense, policy and users put on the data? For example, house numbers on a certain street must be within a certain range; real estate sale prices shouldn’t be negative, and no one alive today was born before 1900. Restate business rules in the language of your database (e.g., DOB >= 01/01/1900). Enforcing business rules, usually at the data collection point or during maintenance, will give early warning of both mistakes (such as incorrect data input) or systemic issues (such as the need for a mechanism for government-wide updating of street information when a new block is developed).
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Rule (in plain language)Rule (in database language)
Where could rule be enforced?
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Go through fields one by one and ask what constrains them. What are examples of nonsensical entries?
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Think about the time course of events associated with each record.
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For each money transaction, there is a corresponding transaction somewhere in the world. Should that transaction be visible somewhere else in the database?
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What laws or policies govern the subject of the data?
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Contact the author at sfsinger@campaignscientific.com, @sfsinger, 267-414-3119. Guide available for download at bit.ly/DQGuide. Submit feedback at bit.ly/SingleStepsFeedback
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Brainstorming Prompts
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