Why Should A Data Modeler Care About Business Processes?

by Apr 19, 2017

Data Modelers are responsible for creating and maintaining conceptual, logical and physical data models.  These data models are used to define the data requirements that support the business goals. Data modelers work closely with business stakeholders and users of the information systems.

Business stakeholders want to see how the data is used in their business processes at a high level. They frequently get lost in the highly technical details of a traditional data model.  Business Process Models allow data modelers to outline data interactions in terms that business stakeholders can more easily understand. 

Data Modelers can use Business Processes to define how data is used in an organization via:

  • Tasks or activities that use data tables, views, entities, data stores or data feeds
  • Triggers that signal that something in the data is created, read, updated and deleted (CRUD)
  • The business decisions (or business rules) that have an impact on the data
  • Who can access data at what points in the process and which level of access they are granted (very useful for data governance and data quality)
  • The business units that interact with a particular data definition (i.e. Marketing may define a Customer differently than the Product Management Team)
  • The data's story through the business process journey (useful in understanding the data lineage)


Here's a quick 2-minute video that showcases how data modelers can leverage business processes to help to communicate within the business organization:




Creating Business Process Models with ER/Studio Business Architect

Most people know about ER/Studio Data Architect but few people know about Data Architect's little sister – "ER/Studio Business Architect".  Business Architect is currently available as a standalone product as well as part of the ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition collection of tools. 

Business Architect includes modeling tools for Conceptual Models and Business Process Models.

Conceptual Models are a great tool to explain complex data at a very high level to business users. You can convert Conceptual models to Logical models (and vice versa) between Business Architect and Data Architect.

Business Process Models can be used to help explain what is happening within a business via its processes and how those processes interact with each other as well as how they interact with the business data.