I have been studying database design and programming for quite some time now, but I still can't get a grasp of understanding each individual normal form (that is, 1NF, 2NF and 3NF).
Seeing as anytime the data is in Third Normal Form, it is already automatically in Second and First Normal Form, can the whole process actually be accomplished less tediously by fully normalizing the data from the start. I can accomplish this easily by arranging the data so that the columns in each table, other than the primary key, are dependent only on the whole primary key.
How important is it to understand each individual normal form if we can simply fully normalize the data less tediously by doing what I have described?
What I'm ultimately asking is: Is it important to go through the steps of each normal form when normalizing data, or is it appropriate to just go to Third Normal Form seeing as the result is ultimately the same?