I'm new to this forum, I would be grateful for your advice. I am working for a price comparison company in London who compare internet deals. The data director asked to me to review the current process through which collect market data, load it onto the database and maintain the database, we currently use SQL server. The UK broadband market is fiercely competitive at the moment and continuously changing. There are constant waves of promotions, e.g.Sky are currently giving tablets and speakers worth £250. The products themselves are also continuously changing with the market shifting towards quad play deals (internet + home phone + TV + Mobile) as a result there are hundreds of different variations of deals that a customer can pick. This has resulted in various hacks to the database to find ways to accommodate these changes. Maintaining the database is also becoming increasingly difficult as we need to have the changes in place first thing in the morning. I was wondering if there are any alternatives to a rational database that could potentially solve this problem. Ideally I would like to present a solution where the retail team in our company who do not have any technical experience could also get involved in maintaining the database. Any advice or pointers in the right direction would be extremely appreciated.
Many thanks in advance.
I'm afraid there's no substitute for proper data modeling and database design, nor for educated and competent database professionals. Ideally, a good database would be able to handle all the variations and not need hacking. I'd keep unqualified users out of the raw database at all costs, if they need to be involved then they should have restricted interfaces through which to safely manipulate the data.