data modeling importance definition and types

What is Data Modeling? Definition, Importance, and Types

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Are you curious to know what data modeling is? Check out this blog post on data modeling!

There is a lot of data in any industry’s databases. You are well aware that disorganized data eventually becomes irrelevant. After that, it didn’t matter how significant it was. To be clear, without structure, data is meaningless. Additionally, you will be unable to make full use of it. It is challenging to keep, retrieve, and record data effectively when it has been tampered with.

Every day a huge amount of data is generated, which needs to be analyzed in order to reach the correct decision. Let us understand what data modeling is and its other aspects.

What is Data Modeling?

Data modeling is a process that involves the development of a structured database schema and describing the relationships among entities. This can be used in many different applications, from simple order management to a complex hotel reservation system.

Data modeling is a key step in designing any system, and it sets the foundation for programs, functions, and tools. It is like a common language that allows different systems to interact and describe data.

Data modeling establishes relationships between entities, records, and tables. It is typically created by business stakeholders or data architects and provides organization-wide coverage of business concepts. It creates a common vocabulary for all stakeholders to use when describing the data that will be stored.

Types of Data Models

In the above section, we talk about what data modeling is now. Let’s move further to understand their key concepts. There are 3 main key concepts or models that lie in data modeling –

      Conceptual model

It finds the relationship among the data and assigns them different properties. In short, it finds WHAT is in the system. The name of domain models also recognizes these models. They create based on the project requirement.

      Logical models

It creates the data frame based on a physical model. It works on HOW the whole system should be. Logical data models provide details more specifically and show the relationship between the data.

      Physical model

It provides a clear picture of HOW the system will look or work. This is the last data model, which depicts the data and how they are stored in the data warehouses.

In this process, data can be organized with the help of data models, which further help the organization to make decisions or create a product.

What is Data Modeling in SQL?

You can make a database diagram by using a graphical tool or by executing SQL queries. The graphical tool allows you to build connections between tables and views visually. It also gives you the option to combine views and tables. It also allows you to add comments to help you understand the work.

What is Data Modeling in Power BI?

  • Data modeling is one of the main aspects used in BI tools to establish relationships between various data sources. When using several data sources, you can construct engaging data visualizations by defining the relationships between them.

  • You can create unique calculations on the already-existing tables using the modeling capability, and these columns can then be easily displayed in Power BI visualizations. This enables companies to create new measures and perform unique calculations for them, which is further very helpful in creating effective decisions.

Process of Data Modeling 

Data modeling is the process of creating a model of data that can be used to understand and manipulate it. It is a critical step in data analysis and preparation for business decisions. The process has several steps, including identifying the data you need, identifying any constraints on the available data, analyzing the data and understanding the structure and relationships in the data, and finally developing and validating a model using that data.

Steps of the Data Modeling Process

• Identify the data you need for analysis: This step involves examining the source of the data and determining whether it contains all the information needed for analysis. You can identify the type of data you need by looking at the format it is in (for example, numerical or categorical).

• Identify any constraints on the available data: Identifying constraints is important since you may not be able to collect all the data necessary for analysis due to financial, logistical, or time constraints. At this point, you should also determine whether there are any data cleansing or quality issues that might impede the analysis process.

• Analyze the data and identify the structure and relationships in it: To do this, you will need to analyze the source data and identify any patterns in the data that you can use to create a model. You will then need to work with a statistician to identify any relevant patterns that cannot be identified using the available software and develop a model to describe them. 

• Develop and validate the model: Based on the results from the previous step, you will build a model based on the available data and information. The model will need to be tested to ensure that it is accurate and reliable before it can be used to make business decisions. The validation process usually involves testing the model against known data points to make sure that it produces the same answers as those produced by the analyst.

• Use the model to make decisions:  After the model has been developed and tested, you can use it to make business decisions based on the underlying trends and patterns in the data. This will help you to improve your business processes and increase the efficiency of your organization. 

What are Data modeling examples?

Examples are a great way to understand the complexity of data modeling. We will take some daily examples to understand data modeling let’s start with –

The data model can be understood by the College example College is the root or parent, which comprises different departments, and each department has its own faculties. So college is the main origin point which divides into so many departments which further into so many faculties. So the question is how you create a model based on this explanation, College – Departments – Faculties.

Data Modeling in Software Engineering

Data modeling is a critical part of database design. It helps to ensure that the data stored in a database is stored in the most effective and efficient manner. It is also an essential element of software development, as it provides a standardized format for the content of a database. It also allows multiple applications to share the same information. A comprehensive model can reduce storage requirements, improve retrieval performance, and equip systems with a single source of truth.

The tools and procedures used in data modeling are some Software Engineering ideas that can be utilized to develop models.

One of the fundamental data modeling concepts in software engineering is the necessity for data models.

  • In the course of the project’s analysis and design phases, data models are often developed.
  • With the help of those data models, you can make sure that the project or you can say software requirements are properly understood and met.
  • These data models also are helpful for interpreting designs that programmers made for particular objectives later in the data lifecycle.

Types of Data Modeling

After learning about what data modeling is, let’s move to their types. Data is growing rapidly day by day as it increases the use of new ways of data modeling. Data modeling is of many types, and each one has its own importance.

In this section, we will explore all types of data modeling –

Hierarchical data modeling

  •     This kind of data modeling looks like a tree-like shape and was first implemented in 1960 by IBM.
  •     As it starts from one point of origin and spreads into many other forms, just like tree branches
  •     The point where the model starts is called a root or parent, which is the main cause of all data.
  •     This is the most usable type of data modeling, especially in the banking sector. These kinds of data models are still implemented in XML and GIS systems.

Relational data modeling

  •     Another popular type of data modeling is the relational data model, which was introduced in 1970 by E.F.Codd.
  •     This model is used in relational databases and allows for many-to-many relationships.
  •     Relational data models are depicted in table forms.
  •     It was developed for the mainframe databases, such as IBM’s Information Management System.
  •     After introducing relational data models, they replaced hierarchical ones. However, both models continue to be used in many organizations.

Relational data models also have a few advantages –

  •     They are more flexible than other data models and are better suited for data warehousing applications.
  •     For example, you can easily store data in relational databases and query them using relational databases. However, this method may reduce the overall performance of analytical queries.

Entity-relationship data modeling or ER models

  •     These data models are pictorial representations to depict the relationship between all the entries within the databases.
  •     These models comprise 3 components – Entity, Entity type, and Entity set.
  •     The entity is a single thing you can say, a booklet, house, or anything which has physical existence.
  •     For example, Suppose all the students in the classroom read their coding booklet, which means each of the students has their own coding booklet, which you can say is an entity. And each student is an entity type. Lastly, if we talk about entity sets, then the whole classroom is an entity set.
  •     The benefit of creating ER models of any data includes creating designs that talk about concepts that are simple and easy to understand.

Object-oriented data modeling

  •     These data models were implemented in mid-1990 and became popular at that time.
  •     These data models are mostly used in representing complex data sets so that it becomes easier to understand the problem.
  •     They are mostly implemented to represent real-world problems.
  •     In this type of data modeling, most scenarios are depicted by the objects, and all the objects with the same characteristics are put in the same group.
  •     Mostly this data model is used in multimedia.

Dimensional data models

  •     Fact and dimension tables are used in dimensional modeling to keep track of existing data in data warehouses.
  •     For certain applications, various forms of data modeling strategies are more effective.
  •     Dimensional models, also known as Kimball dimensional data models, are data frame structures used to extract data from a data repository and it was developed by Ralph Kimball.
  •     They are employed in the fundamental design framework to build optimized and useful database systems and are optimized to carry out the Select operations.

Some of the benefits of using dimensional data models include –

  •     Data retrieve fastly
  •     Provide deep insights into business
  •     Flexibility

Data models are often broken down into categories, which may include fact tables, measures, or both. Fact tables contain occurrences and their associated characteristics, and dimension tables contain reference information. In a dimensional model, the data is organized into multiple levels, enabling easy navigation and performance querying. A dimensional data model is used in a data warehouse or data mart.

Data Modeling Tools & Techniques

In the above, we talk about what is data modeling in detail now, let’s understand all the tools and techniques used in data modeling. Data modelers can use a variety of techniques and tools to create the information they need. One of the most popular is dimensional data modeling. This methodology is widely used in data warehouses. It can be used for many purposes, including aggregating sales and geographic information.

When you need to model and visualize complex systems, you’ll need a data modeling tool. Some tools are designed to be intuitive, while others are more advanced.

  •     Free data modeling software/ tools

It includes OpenModelSphere as it is an open-source data modeling solution for all your data.

  •     Archi

It is an open-source, cross-platform data modeling tool that is used by Enterprise Architects to describe and visualize data architectures. It supports both conceptual and physical data modeling. The program also has plug-ins that can scale the data modeling canvas.

Using a data modeling tool makes it easier to visualize complex topics and reduces the risk of human errors. Data modeling tools help you define and create relation tables, foreign keys, and primary keys. They also make the data mapping process much simpler for both BI and development teams. This makes the development process faster and saves time.

  •     Erwin Data Modeler

This is among the best data modeling tools which worked on the IDEF1X data modeling languages.

  •     DataGrip

It is a popular choice among database administrators. The program has a graphical interface and allows you to edit and clone data. It also helps you write SQL code and provides a historical record of your work. You can also compare the model to the database automatically. You can even switch schemas without losing your work history.

  •     ER/Studio

This data modeling tool software works with database management systems (DBMS).

This software is capable of both kinds of data modeling, dimensional as well as relational data modeling.

ER Studio is another data modeling tool. This tool is used to create Star and Snowflake data models. It also captures business rules, coded values, and technical metadata. It works extensively with transactional and periodic snapshot grains. This tool is also free to use. There are several plans available, and all have their own features.

A data model is a blueprint for the data in a database. It defines the objects in the database, how they relate to each other, and what kind of storage they require. The data model is also a bridge between DBAs and the business. It can help to create a better relationship between the DBA and the business.

  •     Lucidchart

It is a cloud-based collaborative data modeling tool that combines easy use with robust functionality. It can help users create org charts, concept maps, and process maps. It also supports various database schema formats. Its user interface is easy to navigate and supports major operating systems, including Apple, Windows, and Linux. It also works on mobile devices.

While there are a variety of data modeling tools, there are a few standouts that have made a name for themselves in the field. Navicat Data Modeler, for example, is an established tool. It can help you map and analyze data in a more intuitive way. Its user community is active and supportive, which is important if you’re working in the analytics field.

Read More ?? Data Visualizations in Python and R

Importance of Data Modeling –  Why Does It Matter?

After knowing about what is data modeling let’s understand why it matters a lot in any industry. Data modeling is an essential process that allows organizations to organize and structure data for efficient storage and access. It can also make business processes more efficient and productive. Ultimately, good data models and efficient data architecture can help any staff member access and consume information. For that reason, it’s important to understand the importance of data modeling.

      Collect and manage accurate data

Data modeling is a fundamental component of analytics. It helps organizations collect and manage accurate data sources. Without proper data modeling, an organization’s analysis and insights may be incomplete and inaccurate. It also helps organizations understand how to make better use of the information they collect. In today’s world, data management is vital to businesses.

      Reduce redundancy

Data modeling can help prevent unnecessary redundancy between systems. For example, different systems could report data differently. For example, an inventory system might report that 500 units have been sold in a month, while a logistics system would report that 1000 units have been shipped during the same time period. Without proper data modeling, applications may be slow and inflexible. And without proper documentation, the results may not be transparent.

      Enhance business capabilities

Data modeling can help businesses increase their competitiveness. It expands the capabilities of business intelligence and helps managers identify trends. For example, it can help a supermarket recognize that one brand is gaining popularity, and another brand is waning. This allows the store to stock more of the desired brand and less of the less popular ones.

      A better understanding of the data

It requires a reliable database and a tool that is appropriate for the organization’s objectives. Using the wrong tools or processes to build a data model can have a negative impact on the results of the project.

As an example, let’s consider a company that is working on developing a new line of livestock and pet foods. For their business success, they need to consider various elements. These data elements include text content, chemical structures, financial values, and even schematics. The process of data modeling allows for a better understanding of the data and reveals opportunities for improvement.

Wrapping Up

With better data, organizations can measure progress and make informed decisions. Proper data organization fosters collaboration and understanding among data stakeholders. A well-designed data model allows users to gain insight into the relationships between dissimilar data elements. It also streamlines data governance initiatives. And it serves as a visual reference.

Data modeling can be complex and requires a lot of expertise. It involves using historical databases and real-time data. By understanding what data modeling is, and the structure, and behavior of data, we can make better decisions and predictions. With the right tools and knowledge, data modeling can be a powerful tool for business success.

Pickl.AI online courses offer a great way to learn data science skills quickly and at your own pace. With the right resources and planning, online courses can provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in the field of data sciences.


  • Akhila Saroha

    Written by:

    Akhila Saroha has been associated with different fields of work due to the diverse experiences she has had. Apart from teaching, she has also been associated with the publishing industry. At present, she has been working as a content writer and continues to experiment with her writing abilities.