The Data Model Pyramid

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by Angela Guess

In a recent article, Steve Hoberman and George McGeachie recently explained the data modeling pyramid (pictured). They write, “Many practitioners of data modeling use a pyramid to illustrate the different types of model that can be produced – this particular shape is well suited to the task for two reasons: (1) It supports the principles of ‘layers’. (2) As we move down the layers, everything grows – the number of models, their complexity, and the number of objects included.”

They continue, “The top two layers are occupied by subject area models, which show the key concepts in a particular area and how these concepts interact with each other. There are three types of subject area models: the Business Subject Area Model (BSAM), the Application Subject Area Model (ASAM), and the Comparison Subject Area Model (CSAM).”

They add, “A logical data model (LDM) takes the business need defined on a subject area model down to the next level of a business solution. A physical data model (PDM) takes the business solution defined on a logical data model to the next level of a technical solution. There are dependencies between the different types of data models shown in the pyramid, between data models and other artifacts or models that represent other aspects of business and requirements, the enterprise and solutions architecture, and application design. The activities required when producing and managing data models are only part of a wider set of business and technology activities; integration with associated activities is key to the success of data modeling.”

Read more here.

 photo credit: Steve Hoberman

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