My company is developing an internal application with a SQL server database which was started earlier by another developer.
Now I am Looking at the model,the developer has stopped at 1NF. I proposed going all the way to 3NF but my manager said it would add no business value.
Is there a way to quantify the business values of normalization, specifically going to 3NF?

  • Speed, data manageability and data storage are ways to quantify because you're eliminating redundant data and ensuring data dependencies make sense with database normalization. However, these depend entirely on how the data is being used. That's where speed comes into play for one example if 3NF equates to expensive joins and ETC.
    – Glen Swan
    Nov 8 '14 at 15:57

The actual costs are difficult to quantify as they are often diffused. Often they appear as slower transactions. For a system used rarely, this may not be significant. For a system used for an hour a day, that is taking twice as long as is required the cost would be about 100 hrs a year per person using the system. Slower transactions may also have higher error rates due to users being distracted or interrupted while processing transactions.

Failure to normalize the data often results in in consistent data through-out the application. Updates to some records may be missed, or incorrect records may be updated. Inconsistent data can have serious business and/or legal implications. Such problems can reduce the reputation of the business.

Updates to non-normalized records may take many times longer than with normalized data. (That is time someone is waiting for the system rather than moving to the next task.). In some cases the update will fail, or lock the table for excessively long periods of time.

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