Developing a Successful Conceptual Model

by Antonio M
This article talks about how databases are a backbone to any information system. Since that is the
case it is very important that the conceptual modeling of a database is done correctly. The author
also says how much effort when dealing with the the conceptual design will be spent in communicating
to the stakeholders. However it can be difficult since not all stakeholders have any knowledge in
database design. Therefore it is very important to gather good and relevant information from the
end user as well as making an understandable presentation of the information that has been collected
so they can understand the database design.Typical end users do not understand visual graphics such as
UML, it is best to do “Verbalization” which pretty much means explaining the notation on graphical
presentation to the end users. The author suggests that 3 representation types can help the
stakeholders understand the conceptual design of a database. The first being the graphical representation
such as ERD diagrams, the second being verbalization and the next being a glossary type of section
,which would consist of detailed descriptions of the concepts. The author concludes his article
by re-emphasizing how the conceptual model is very important when talking with the stakeholders. All
stakeholders have different skills and expertise which is why different techniques should be used
for communicating to them.

I really liked how this article gave some tips on how to go about the conceptual model of a database.
As a student studying CIS I can see why it is important to try to make sure stakeholders understand
the concept of a database design. Usually when graphing diagrams and talking about the design
many technical terms can be used and to someone like the stakeholder they may not know what these
terms can mean because it is not their on there level of expertise. Which is why in this article
the author makes another section for “Visualization” and a glossary section.

I think this applies to what we are learning in class because when we are designing such a database
in the real world we have to make sure that the stakeholders know what they are getting in there
database. It is also important that we make the conceptual part as easy and understandable to the
end users. It is pretty clear how one of the ways a database project can fail is by not communicating
the essential type of requirements that are important but have not been implementation into a database
because of miss communication. The conceptual model is clearly one of many steps in setting the
foundation to a successfully development of a database.

Reference:
Kop, C.; , “Towards a Combination of Three Representation Techniques for Conceptual Data Modeling,” Advances in Databases, Knowledge, and Data Applications, 2009. DBKDA ’09. First International Conference on , vol., no., pp.95-100, 1-6 March 2009
doi: 10.1109/DBKDA.2009.12
URL: http://0-ieeexplore.ieee.org.opac.library.csupomona.edu/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=5071818&isnumber=5071795

3 thoughts on “Developing a Successful Conceptual Model”

  1. Being able to explain technical concepts to people that are not accustomed to technical information can be quite the challenge, but sometimes fun. I have found one of the best ways to do it is to use the non-technical knowledge that the users already have to your advantage. For example, explaining how part of a database works to a chef may go very smoothly if you can create an example in terms of their kitchen, utensils, cooking techniques, and so on. If you can verbalize or visualize the database in a way that is somehow relevant to the users, with situations and scenarios they are comfortable with, it can really smooth things out.

  2. It makes so much sense. I am not really majoring in database design. But I am a 100% sure I will be doing some database designs for someone someday in the future. You could actually make money out of database designing from these classes by themselves.

  3. Communication with clients and stakeholders are always great to have. This is because there are many rules, exceptions, and ideas on both sides of the developers and the clients. Making money is not always doing the job fast, but to understand what the concept is and what the ideas are to make a very efficient and useful database is what makes a true business.

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