Whether you transform depends on (1) what CC-BY-SA license you have in mind; (2) how you transform.
If you don't alter the text per se, it's not a derivative work in many jurisdictions because there are no creative parts altered.
CC-BY-SA used to base these modifications on this definition in some places.
CC-BY-SA 4.0 says that:
Adapted Material means material subject to Copyright and Similar Rights that is derived from or based upon the Licensed Material and in which the Licensed Material is translated, altered, arranged, transformed, or otherwise modified in a manner requiring permission under the Copyright and Similar Rights held by the Licenser. For purposes of this Public License, where the Licensed Material is a musical work, performance, or sound recording, Adapted Material is always produced where the Licensed Material is synched in timed relation with a moving image.
"Adaptation" means a work based upon the Work, or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation, adaptation, derivative work, arrangement of music or other alterations of a literary or artistic work, or phonogram or performance and includes cinematographic adaptations or any other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted including in any form recognizably derived from the original, except that a work that constitutes a Collection will not be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License. For the avoidance of doubt, where the Work is a musical work, performance or phonogram, the synchronization of the Work in timed-relation with a moving image ("synching") will be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License.
Check if your use really changes it.
Including a work in a database does not always mean that the entire database must be covered by this license, because it is a reproductive collection.
Speaking of collections, in version 3.0 CC-BY-SA there are special definitions and conditions of the so-called. collection:
"Collection" means a collection of literary or artistic works, such as encyclopedias and anthologies, or performances, phonograms or broadcasts, or other works or subject matter other than works listed in Section 1(f) below, which, by reason of the selection and arrangement of their contents, constitute intellectual creations, in which the Work is included in its entirety in unmodified form along with one or more other contributions, each constituting separate and independent works in themselves, which together are assembled into a collective whole. A work that constitutes a Collection will not be considered an Adaptation (as defined below) for the purposes of this License.
Version 4.0 also keeps the rule: own license for the collection, but the original work is under the CC license (https://creativecommons.org/faq/#if-i-create-a-collection-that-includes-a-work-offered-under-a-cc-license-which-licenses-may-i-choose-for-the-collection).
After a long presentation of the arguments, the collection argument seems to meet your expectations the most. Remember that if you are using part of the database under the CC license, and not creating the entire database from scratch, the CC-BY-SA terms may oblige you to share the database under the same license (sui generis):
if You include all or a substantial portion of the database contents in a database in which You have Sui Generis Database Rights, then the database in which You have Sui Generis Database Rights (but not its individual contents) is Adapted Material, including for purposes of Section 3(b);
- Section 3(b) is a ShareAlike (SA) section.
- from CC-BY-SA 4.0
This is not legal advice