Stage 3 - Specify

This is when you need to start thinking in real detail about what you need your database to do.  You’ll need to make some decisions about input and output.


  • Who are you collecting data about?
  • What data do you specifically want to capture?
  • Where will you be using the database? (Out and about at services?)
  • Who inputs the data and how (frontline staff? On mobile devices?) 


  • Who needs to see what level of data
  • How do you want data to be analysed (e.g. aggregation / segmentation)
  • What reports do you need (tables, graphs, funder reports?)


In order to get both of these aspects right, you’ll need to sketch out what data you need for what purposes and create some user profiles. For example:


Laura is frontline staff and needs to be able to input data while she’s out visiting clients. She isn’t hugely confident around tech but can happily use platforms like Amazon, Facebook and Survey Monkey. She doesn’t need to see data on an aggregated level and only uses the database to update case notes and re-read them before her next visit.
Sami writes our funding bids and needs to be able to access real-time aggregated data in order to demonstrate the scale of our activities and the outcomes of our services. He always works from a desktop at the office and doesn’t need to see personal details of individuals.

 Use our User persona and User stories templates below.


Image of an arrow pointing downwards to indicate a download  User persona template to download (Word file)

Image of an arrow pointing downwards to indicate a download  User stories template to download (Word file)