Data Modeling: What you need to know?

by Jasmine C
What designing a data model, what is the most essential skill that you need to know? Well, according to an article I read, the most basic skill needed is not the representation of entities and relationships. What a person needs to know is how to identify entities and the correct relationship among them. Data modeling is more than just “drawing a diagram (Watson)”. It is being able to ” capture reality so that the database based on the data model can be used to answer questions about reality (Watson)”. If you have a model, what good is it if you cannot relate it to reality! When teaching  data modeling to students, they are going to make a lot of mistakes. However, once they are taught the correct way, modeling will come easy to them.  In the article, the writer suggests that integrating the teaching of data modeling and SQL provides for an enhanced learning experience for the student because they will be better equip to comprehend many of the key features of relational databases.  Students will be able to make a connection between their diagrams and SQL, effectively gaining a better understanding of SQL and data modeling.

In class, we are learning how to create E-R models. According to the article, I think as students we should focus our understanding on how to properly classify entities, how to read cardinality relationships, and taking into consideration different exceptions that can apply to our models because we want to properly represent reality.  From our last lecture, we should all see that data modeling is going to take practice. But I think that if we pay attention to the lectures and practice then we’ll all get the hang of it and do great on our projects!

I like this article because it points me in the right direction as to what I need to make sure I understand in order to model data correctly.  I want to make sure that when I model, I relate it to reality because when I query I want to make sure that I will find the answers to my questions.  I hoping that I can grasp this concept with practice because that was a lot of information Zhang  gave us Wed.

Watson, R. (2006). The essential skills of data modeling. Journal of Information Systems Education,17(1), 39-41. Retrieved January 12, 2012, from

6 thoughts on “Data Modeling: What you need to know?”

  1. That makes sense. If you don’t understand the relationships, then you won’t be able to draw the model to represent it. During the last lecture, I didn’t even think to separate the entities the way it was supposed to be separated. I think we’re going to need a lot of practice.

  2. I like your article because identifying correct entities and relationships is very important in order to build data modeling. It gives me an information where I should start from and what I should focus on while I am learning data modeling.

  3. That is a good article and it makes perfect sense. As easy as data modeling looks I can see why it is possible to be hard at first. I myself am still having trouble on how to make relationships with entity’s but with practice I am sure that I can overcome this obstacle.

  4. This article is great. I agree that we need to focus more on how to define entities and cardinality relationships. because these are important key of how Data Modeling build up.

  5. I agree with you that learning to design is going to take a lot of practice. From the lectures and from reading the book it seems like there are lots of vocabulary and concepts to learn that I feel a bit overwelmed but I believe that when we actually get some hands on practice it will all come together.

  6. Great article! This article reminds me the in class assignment that we had to do. It was difficult to identify the relationship between entities. It is important to identify the accurate entities and relationships in order to create a data model. Once again nice article. 🙂

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