The Relationship is the Thing
The problem with relational databases, as in life, is that relationships can be complicated.
One to one, many to one, one to many…There are many different ways to structure data and the relationship between data.
Most of the time, this structure reflects a version if reality pretty well…The problem comes when you try to get data out. The data can get messy.
If the data is stored in a massive CRM system, you will often get the data out in one big flat file that contains lots of columns and rows. This data can be pulled into a spreadsheet program and looked at and analyzed. This can be helpful, but it doesn’t necessarily show all the dimensions of the information.
Tables connected are to other tables. Sometimes this can be a very efficient way to organize data when you have a clear idea of what you want to store and the rules are well known.
While adding on to a relational database is not impossible, the whole schema can get messed up pretty quickly if not well planned out.
If you know the relationship in advance, a powerful database can built, but if you need to discover and uncover the relationships, it is probably best to wait.
Photo by willowbl00