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Getting the “Business” into Business-Oriented Data Modeling

Getting the “Business” into Business-Oriented Data Modeling: Practical Techniques and Examples

May 1, 2013

Data modeling is often seen as a technical discipline used only by data professionals for database design. In fact, it is often seen as the same as database design. However, with the right perspective, techniques, and tools, data models have also proven useful to nontechnical stakeholders. Business leaders and subject matter experts find that well‐structured conceptual models provide a new way to see and understand their business and make business policy decisions. Business analysts use data models to discover requirements that would otherwise be missed entirely or not discovered until much later.

Three keys to making data models relevant for these business professionals are:

  • Knowing how to focus on the business before focusing on business data
  • Understanding the differences between conceptual, logical, and physical models, and how they each serve different needs and audiences
  • Having specific techniques and supporting tools that are appropriate for nontechnical stakeholders

This white paper by industry expert Alec Sharp illustrates these points and provides specific guidelines and techniques for a business‐oriented approach to data modeling.

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