The Value of Data Modeling

by Jan 10, 2017

How do you convince your management that data models are worth the time and effort they require? You may be dealing with challenges around the value your company places on their data compared to how that data is actually managed. It can be difficult to assign a dollar amount and calculate a return on investment, but this is often what the business stakeholders need to see in order to justify and validate the use of data architecture.

Why should you care about the value of enterprise data? Because your company can’t function without it. Enterprise data is unique to the organization and irreplaceable, and it is essential to the nature of the business. There’s no third-party that can deliver replacement data if yours is worn out. There are tremendous competitive advantages available to those who can use their data properly, but it requires that the data be accessible to the business teams who can create the business advantage.

Although general principles and best practices apply, each organization must craft a data architecture strategy to maximize the value of its information assets, based on business priorities and investment and execution capabilities. Data professionals must help their organizations cope with increasing data volume and complexity, and be proactive in demonstrating the significant value that a solid data architecture can bring to the business.

When done well, an enterprise architecture is an organized model of a business’s data and information assets, which contains a complete representation of the contents along with metadata that describes the contents. The data architecture hosts and manages the metadata for the rest of the enterprise architecture.

Getting these details put into place does take a team effort, with top-down management support. It’s important for the both the business and technology leadership to understand the value of data models and data modelers. Technology leaders need to understand and encourage the proper use and priority of data models for the organization, because of the critical role it plays for the overall business.

Data modeling exists to help organizations make better business decisions based on large volumes of accurately interpreted and rapidly changing data. Many organizations remain dependent on inadequate software for their strategic data modeling initiatives. Other companies try to get by with no formal data architecture programs. It needs to be realized that on-going and long-term revenue generation and profit growth are entirely dependent on the development of a professional data management environment. This will give a business the foundation required to extract the most value from existing enterprise data, while allowing users and IT teams to manage the rapidly growing volumes of new data. Giving high value business professionals the support to quickly and accurately make the best business decisions is an obvious investment that can be quickly recouped, when the right technology selection is made.

Having a solid foundation with an enterprise data architecture that includes well-defined models can establish the structure and process that is needed to keep up with the volumes of data that are coming in. Data modeling is more important than ever before, and organizations that seek to fully leverage the value of their data assets must make data modeling a priority.

The benefits are numerous, and include establishing standards that ensure consistency and improve quality for the data. Even with the cost of investing in a new product, you can demonstrate a return on investment and operational cost savings in a short time period. Having a proper data modeling and management strategy will result in better use and reuse of your important data assets, and therefore in better corporate data and decision-making.

To hear more about the business value of data modeling, watch the Geek Sync replay. Learn more about calculating a return on investment in the whitepaper, The ROI of Data Modeling. When you’re ready to establish your data architecture, try ER/Studio free for 14 days.