CHAPTER 6Inconsistent Storage Sanctuary

A tweet from Dr. Brandeis Marshall.

Source: Twitter, Inc.

Often hidden in conversations about the data life cycle is a clear understanding of the human and digital efforts needed to implement storage practices, processes, and systems. Data storage isn't glamorous; it's considered tedious and doesn't typically involve many people. Database administrators (DBAs) are usually the only people in an organization who truly know the database architecture and design. Software engineers and other data team members engage with the database as users. The data storage stage sets the digital foundation from which every piece of content originates.

In this chapter, we explore how the digital infrastructure is built, leading to countless questions about how to accomplish our goals. The nature of the work centers on taking data in various file formats and making it machine-accessible and machine-readable. Whether in files, spreadsheets, or the cloud, database architecture and design is leaned on as a universal fix; however, many of these decisions are being made in a vacuum. The modeling of attribute associations and table relationships must contend with the limitations of this binary relationship. We keep humans in the loop during the database design process and champion their accountability for database architecture choices that can introduce harm to the most vulnerable communities. ...

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