The leaders of modern businesses are constantly searching for ways to improve their position in the market. Methods with which to make intelligent use of the tremendous volume of data available to organizations are vitally important in achieving this goal. One of the methods that is widely used and offers many benefits to its adopters is the concept of a data model. In simple terms, a data model describes the relationships and interactions between different data elements. They define data requirements and formats to be used in business processes.
How Data Modeling Can Benefit Business
There are many ways that a company can use data models for their advantage. In some cases, they may lead to immediate and concrete benefits while in other instances, the advantages are more longterm and abstract. Some of the benefits of data modeling are:
Intelligent database design – A well-defined data model can help in designing databases that function as expected. The conceptual and logical models may point the way toward the database platform that makes the most sense for its implementation. The process of describing the data to create the model provides insight into the optimal ways it should be stored and used.
Integrating isolated systems – Developing a data model of various unconnected systems can uncover previously unseen relationships that allow them to be integrated and used more effectively.
Understanding the business – During the process of development, it is essential that the team understands how the business works and relates to the data to be incorporated into the model. This allows all parties to achieve a higher level of understanding concerning the business practices that the model is designed to serve.
All of these benefits can help a company gain a competitive advantage over its rivals. The ability to connect diverse data sources and design more efficient and valuable databases cannot be overestimated in developing innovative solutions to business problems. Emerging trends and ways to capitalize on them can be identified by a better understanding of the business and its customers obtained through data modeling.
Data Model Development Stages
Data models don’t just appear in a fully developed state that can be implemented in a database. They usually go through several steps as they become solidified and put into a form that can be put to use by systems and applications.
Conceptual data models are created in the early stages of a data modeling initiative. They define the entities that need to be incorporated and the structure of the model. The model is created by data architects and business stakeholders and focuses on business-oriented entities and their relationships. A conceptual data model is built for a business audience and is not concerned with specifying the hardware or software that will be used for its implementation.
Logical data models are constructed using the structure that was developed by the conceptual model. Data architects and business analysts create the model which imputes a logical order on the conceptual entities, values, and relationships. It is developed independently of the database system with which it will be used and precisely defines data attributes and length.
Physical data models are created by database developers and administrators. They describe the methods that will be used to implement the data model using a designated database management system (DBMS). The actual table and indexes that will be used to store data and their relationships are defined with columns assigned precise characteristics and default values.
Navigating the Stages of the Data Modeling Process
Creating viable data models can be a complex undertaking that demands the input of individuals serving in various and diverse roles throughout an organization. Collaborative tools are an essential component in successfully developing models that make productive use of a company’s data. IDERA’s ER/Studio offers a suite of data modeling tools that makes collaborating with all necessary stakeholders easy and facilitates the creation of coherent data models.
ER/Studio Business Architect enables the creation of conceptual models that align with a company’s business goals. The tool enables the modeling of the relationships between people, processes, and data. Its output can be used by ER/Studio Data Architect to create logical models. Data governance is another process that is gaining importance in the business world, and ER/Studio’s collaborative capabilities make it an effective tool for companies moving in that direction.
The ER/Studio family of applications can help organizations create productive data models for any purpose. It deserves your attention if your company plans to take advantage of the power of data modeling. Step up your data modeling game by employing ER/Studio to organize and increase the value of your enterprise data resources.