Postsecondary Education

NCES 2006-160
May 2006

Chapter 2. Basic Database Principles and Applications

This chapter provides an overview of the central concepts and components of an inventory and facilities classification system for postsecondary education facilities. It is intended as an aid to understand how the key components fit together. Additional explanatory detail, technical definitions, and procedures are provided in subsequent chapters and the appendixes.

The central concepts and components outlined in this chapter include

  • basic database principles underlying the intended uses of this manual;
  • external and internal database applications (reporting and analysis); and
  • what to include in a building inventory.

This manual is designed primarily for institutional use. A comprehensive, reliable, and up-to-date facilities inventory is an important tool for the planning and management at a postsecondary institution. Accordingly, the database model described below is designed primarily for use at the institution or campus level.