What is a Data Model?

A data model organizes data elements and standardizes how the data elements relate to one another. Since data elements document real life people, places and things and the events between them, the data model represents reality. For example a house has many windows or a cat has two eyes.

Data models are often used as an aid to communication between the business people defining the requirements for a computer system and the technical people defining the design in response to those requirements. They are used to show the data needed and created by business processes.
A data model explicitly determines the structure of data. Data models are specified in a data modeling notation, which is often graphical in form.]

A data model can be sometimes referred to as a data structure, especially in the context of programming languages. Data models are often complemented by function models.

The creation of the data model is the critical first step that must be taken after business requirements for analytics and reporting have been defined. The Data Modeler is a member of the CeDAR staff and will work with the functional users, CeDAR Business Analysts, the BI Solutions Architect and the ETL Developers to create a robust data model.

Princeton supports both relational and dimensional data models. The latter is often referred to as "star schema".



Dim model example