Database Design and Management Strategies

Jay Rajasekera
International University of Japan

In any organization, private or public, at present, the databases play a major role. Be it related to Human Resource Management, Project Management, Financial Management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Risk Management, e-Commerce, e-Education, or e-Government, it is next to impossible to execute a successful project without tapping into various kinds of data in a timely and strategic manner. Though early adopters of databases were private businesses, recently, databases have become prominent in the government projects as well. Examples include: reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan and recovery from disasters such as Tsunami and earthquakes. Without a properly designed and used database, a company or an organization will be in a huge disadvantage will fall behind. Knowing the database techniques are definitely an advantage even if you will not be a major player in the technology division of an organization.

Among things covered in this course include:
  • How to add value to the data
  • How data can be made into databases
  • Strategically designing databases
  • Developing databases for Internet (state-of-the-art ORACLE platform)
  • Developing and managing a real database project (practicum) more....

This is an elective course offered under E-Business Management Program. However, MBA students International Relations Master Program students can also take this course. In the past majority of the students taking this course has been MBA students.

Course oveview:

The course is targeted to consultant, general manager, or administrator class, not only in careers related to IT, but also careers which may benefit from the IT services, such as financial analysts, government analysts, strategic planners, and operational managers.

This is a practical course on Database Design and Management. This course is offered as a little advanced course primarily focusing on the database and its application strategies, database design, and management using Microsoft SQL Server database engine (but the technologies can be adapted to any DB software, such as MySQL, Oracle, etc.). The strategic element, which is tied throughout the course to database design and management, perhaps is the most attractive part for most students. This course is meant to be practical in the sense that in this course you get hands on experience on understanding how databases can be used as a major strategic weapon while working with databases which are put to practical use.

The first part of the course focuses on a few cases to highlight the very critical part that a database can play in running a business, including building the complete business strategy on a foundation based on databases. Then, the attention will be moved to database design techniques. The design of a database is the most critical part of putting a database to practical use. If a database is wrongly designed, more time will be spent on maintaining and redesigning it than really getting practical use of it. Several cases of database design will be discussed. Students will be asked to design some sample databases assigned by the professor. We will use the Microsoft Visio for designing the sample databases with table entities and relationship between the tables.

The second part will focus on SQL (Structured Query Language) and developing sample databases as group projects. SQL Queries for creating tables and manipulating data will be practiced through the interface Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio and building the client interfaces using frontend tool Microsoft Visual Studio. Though students will be exposed to the cutting edge technology, programming expertise is not expected – not beyond the level of familiarity with Windows environment.


Any E-Biz student will qualify. Other students must have general knowledge on computers, computer networks (such as what is a computer network, what is the difference between LAN and Internet), and good knowledge of Excel. Knowledge of Access database will help.

The main areas of the course include:

  • Database design principles: Entity Relationship (E-R) modeling
  • SQL practice (web-based tools and SQL Server, ORACLE)
  • Strategic design of Internet access to databases
  • Group project involving a real database application involving Databases and web interface

Teaching Method:

It is expected that by fully understanding the key elements of putting a database to use, students will learn how to use a database as a major business tool to create value and compete against the rivals. The professor, along with E-Lab staff, provides advice on the implementation stage.


Parts of Client Interface of Some DB Projects Developed by Groups

The database names from previous years’ projects include: Customs Fraud Prevention Database (increase port revenue), Travel Business (increasing customer traffic), Small Business Administration Database (used in Bank Indonesia) Option Pricing Database (objective: increasing customer returns), Job Search Database (objective: creating a placement business), Bank Exposure Management Database (objective: how to minimize risks and increase bank’s credibility), Stock Screening Database (portfolio optimization), , Sports Team Management Database, IUJ Dorm Management Database, and IUJ Bus Scheduler.

Several projects initiated in this class has become real applications used in organizations in IUJ, Japan, foreign governments, and companies.


The main material used for the class include:

  • "Database Strategy: How to Design and Manage Databases to Create Value” by Jay Rajasekera (be distributed as a manual)
  • Cases covering strategic use of databases in various applicationsapplications.
  • ORACLE and other manuals (appropriately distributed in the class.
  • "Database Systems: Design, Implementation, and Management”, Fifth Edition by Peter Rob, Carlos Coronel (on reserve in the library; ISBN: 0760049041)

Class size:

Due to the structure of the class, the size is limited to 30 students.

Unsolicited comments form past students who had taken this course:

* "Out of all the courses I have taken in IUJ's MBA program, this is the only one I use at my work"

** "Yes, this course is more practical than many courses offered here (in business school)"

*** "Very practical; I like to use it in my company"

**** "Good experience for next job or finding a job"

***** "Best course in IM (business school) -- Having very high practical utility".

If you want to contact Professor Rajasekera, his e-mail address is:

To sign-up for the course, send e-mail to:

Updated on 11/17/2011
Copyright © Jay Rajasekera. All rights reserved.