Training and Support for databases


Training and support for creating and using databases is available from several different sources within the School. This guide is intended to help you determine what your needs are and who to contact for assistance.  


Training is available from IT Training| in the form of a taught course and online resources. 

One-to-One Help

Staff in academic departments may also request one-to-one training assistance with their databases. One-to-one sessions will be limited to three 45-minute sessions and can be booked here|.  


Support for existing databases is provided by the IT Service Desk. For example, you may have inherited a database from a colleague and need to understand more about how it works.

If you are thinking about creating a new database, please see the diagram below for advice on getting the appropriate training and support.

If the data in your database will duplicate information held in one of the existing school systems, such as SITS, please discuss your requirements with your User Support Team. It is not advisable to hold multiple copies of the same information in different places.

All data held on living individuals is bound by the Data Protection Act. For advice, please see| or request a copy of the Data Protection for databases leaflet from|  

Recommended steps to creating a database

Step 1: Plan your database

Outline what the purpose of your database is and what information it will hold. It's helpful to sketch out the tables of information the database will hold

Not sure how?
Get some training

If you've never created a database plan before, we recommend you attend the Introduction to Database Structure and Design course. This will help you understand how to design a database and produce a plan



Step 2: Speak to your User Support Team

Let your User Support Team know what your plans are. This will ensure they are better able to help you should anything go wrong. They may also be able to offer you advice during the building process.

Be aware...
Speak to MIS
If your database concerns information held elsewhere at the School, you may need to be referred to  MIS to determine whether it would be more efficient and useful to have a solution developed for you. Remember, it's not advisable to keep duplicate copies of information



Step 3: Build your database

Design your database, based on your plan and suggestions from the User Support Team

Not sure how?
Get some training or get some help
If you're not sure how to build the database, you can get training in using Access from the IT Training team

If you want a web-based database, speak to the Web Services team (and show them your plan)

If you want someone else to build your database, your User Support Team or the IT Training team may be able to help you find a consultant. When considering this option, keep in mind that the consultant will need to liaise with the User Support Teams throughout the process




Step 4: Document your database

Make sure to create some form of documentation, explaining the basic structure of your database (your plan is a good start to this) and what all the forms and reports do. This will help the User Support Teams support the database in the future and will help other colleagues work with the database when you're not around.

Don't forget!!!
Give yourself plenty of time to design and build your database, especially if you need training or help. Even small databases can take months to design properly.