You need to think about what kind of business questions you want to answer to determine how you want to design your database. These questions will help you decide what tables and columns you need to answer those questions, which will help you create an ER diagram.
You'll need to decide what kind of management style you want to use in order to know what kind of queries you'll need. If you are using a Keysian style, you?ll use a very different set of queries than if you use a Nash style. Operational queries fall into several different categories too. You'll have to decide which style of queries suit your personality and management style, rather than determine the queries from the database.
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This was first published in May 2002