A series of rules -- that's what database normalization boils down to. I have had a terrible time trying to distill the "why" of database normalization, largely because I get all excited about the "what!" So, in more concise terms than I can muster, enter the Wikipedia:
Databases start small, often with an Excel spreadsheet. But -- this is important -- they're designed to get big. Because many of us manage datasets with more than 60,000 records -- or will at some point.
How do these rules help big data sets? Two ways:
- managing data "types"
- enforcing rules within a row, or record
- enforcing rules between rows and
Three levels of normalization:
More depth on our target level of normalization:
Column => FieldSo that's where we'll begin. I'm going to go hop on a plane in a minute.
Row => Record