Good relations: the use of a relational database for large-scale data analysis

L G Moseley, D M Mead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports our experience of analysing what may well be one of the largest datasets gathered on nursing practice in the United Kingdom. The study produced both quantitative and qualitative data and a method had to be devised both for analysing each form of data and for relating the two. An inexpensive relational database was chosen for the purpose, and experience of using it is reported. Detailed examples are given. We look at the strengths and weaknesses of such a tool, and in general it received a positive evaluation. For many nursing research projects, it offers some advantages over a conventional statistical package, especially in the following areas: offering ease of use, and hence control of the data, by the domain (nursing) specialist; facilitating the analysis of free-text data; allowing the linking of free-text and structured questionnaire data; permitting the testing of conjectures which arise during analysis; handling varying amounts of data per case; providing non-redundant storage of data; permitting the association of machine-readable codes and human-readable labels; and encouraging an exploratory rather than merely analytical approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1795-805
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1993


  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Databases, Factual
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Nursing
  • Nursing Research
  • Nursing, Team
  • Primary Nursing
  • Software
  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Good relations: the use of a relational database for large-scale data analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this