Understand the Data in Data Modeling

by Penny P
In the article that I read, it said that when you start working on data modeling you’re eventually working on something that will lead to database design. Before data modeling become popular, some people saw data administration and information groups as obstacles because it slowed down development. However, companies soon came to the conclusion that database models can actually serve as framework for new applications to be designed. New applications get created for different tasks while the old ones get integrated with the new.

The idea of data modeling is basically an abstract representation of real objects/environments as a database with a series of models is designed around it. Data modeling is used to increase the understanding of a business problem and identify the components. The first step to data modeling is to collect data and review the procedures and practices of the company. By learning about the data, it helps the designer identify and define the entities and their relationships; this is known as the conceptual model. After the conceptual model is created, it gets transformed into a logical data model where the data gets more specific and can describe the attributes for the entities.

I think this article was helpful because it explains why it is important to understand the data that is presented before doing the actual data modeling. You need to figure out how the entities connect with each other in their relationships. It was also cool to know that if the data modeling is done correctly, it could be used as a framework or template for future models. I guess the best type of modeling is the one where you can add on to it in the future without affecting the performance of entire model.


Weldon, J. L. “A Career in Data Modeling. Taking Up-front Time to Organize a Database Model Can save Time during Applications Development.” BYTE 1 June 1997: 103. Factiva. Web. 13 Jan. 2012.

4 thoughts on “Understand the Data in Data Modeling”

  1. I believe that data models are the foundations of a database. If you have questions about about the database, then you can backtrack to the data model and most likely find answers to your question. I think of data modeling as brainstorming; You write down all your ideas and how they are connected and then write a paper. Kind of the same thing with modeling, you model the database and then design it. I think the most important thing we as students need to understand is that we need to comprehend the data that we are going to use in the model.

  2. Thank you for Penny Poon’s article and Jasmine Carpenter’s comment. You guys did a good job on explaining why we need to start working on data modeling before building a database.
    Designing a database is like writing an essay. When we want to write a good essay, we write down keywords/ideas on a scratch paper and then organize them before writing. Data modeling is like the scratch paper. We use data modeling to organize entities and relationships so that we can minimize any mistakes that may occur in a database.

  3. I agree with Jasmine and Polun how data models are the foundation of a database and how they basically are the blueprints to a database. Its like Jasmine had mentioned, to write down all your ideas on a paper and then show the relationships between them. I am also sure that once you have a data model down for a database if there is ever a need to re-design or add something to it then you just have to refer back to the data model so know where to make the changes. Data models are basically important and must be given as much time as any other process in the SDLC.

  4. I see data modeling as an outline to the physical database. Like an outline to a good essay and programming flowcharts/UML diagrams it’s always beneficial to plan your work instead of just diving in and writing. Great article I think it gives us a good starting point of the “big picture” of database design.

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