Gartner Research

Data Modeling: A Necessary and Rewarding Aspect of Data Management

Published: 18 May 2008

ID: G00203540

Analyst(s): Joe Maguire


Recent changes in business and technology are inducing a renaissance of fundamental data-management techniques--especially data modeling. In this overview, Burton Group Senior Analyst Joe Maguire introduces data modeling, its applications, its numerous benefits, and the various approaches available to those enterprises that are eager to realize these benefits. Maguire also describes how new realities in the business environment have transformed data modeling from a luxury to a necessity.

Table Of Contents



  • Definitions
    • The Basics
    • Reading a Data Model
    • Types of Data Model
    • Other Types of Modeling
    • Frameworks: How Various Data Models Interrelate
    • A Simple Framework
  • What Modeling Can Do for You
    • XML Artifacts
    • SOA Systems
    • Master Data Management
    • Business Intelligence
    • Modeling the Business or Enterprise
    • A Myth Debunked
  • Modeling and the Web
    • The Web Does Include Highly Structured Data
    • Models and Classonomies
    • A Myth Debunked
  • Reaping the Benefits of Modeling
    • Business-Level Benefits
    • IT Benefits
    • Regulatory Benefits
    • Using Repositories
    • A Myth Debunked
  • Controlling the Costs of Modeling
    • Cost Reducer: Automatic Reverse Engineering
    • Cost Reducer: Off-the-Shelf Data Models
    • Cost Reducer: Industry-Standard Vocabularies
    • Cost Reducer: Affordable Modeling Tools
    • A Myth Debunked
  • Modeling and Scope Creep
    • Prematurely Including Process
    • Prematurely Including Technology
    • A Warning About Imprecision
    • A Warning About Incompleteness
    • A Warning About Generalization
    • A Myth Debunked
  • Modeling Tools
    • How Tools Distinguish the Various Kinds of Model
    • How Tools Integrate the Various Kinds of Model
    • A Modeler's Evolution: Becoming More Than a Tool User
    • A Myth Debunked (sort of)
  • Recommendations
    • Expect to Invest: It's Worth It
    • Invest: Develop Modeling Expertise
    • Invest: Budget Time from User Experts
    • Invest: Establish a Data Governance Program
    • Plan Ahead to Reap the Rewards of Modeling
    • Reap: Use Conceptual Data Models in Employee Training
    • Reap: Use Conceptual Data Models During Process Design
    • Reap: Use Conceptual Data Models to Mediate Communication with Business Partners
    • Reap: Use Conceptual Data Models to Design Technology Solutions
    • Establish and Honor Best Practices

The Details

  • Sample Conceptual Model of Burton Group Data
  • More About Different Notations
    • Modeling of Databases
    • Modeling of Class Hierarchies
    • Object Role Modeling
  • More About Different Kinds of Modeling
  • Vocabulary Nightmares



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