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What Are Conceptual, Logical and Physical Data Models?

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Last Updated on by Noni May

In the world of computer science, data modeling is a popular term. After all, everything in this world is driven by data. Whether it be an application, a website, or a system, everything needs to store and deal with data. In many cases, databases are used to store this information so it can later be retrieved easily. The data has to go through a few steps before it can be stored efficiently. 

Computer engineers and programmers often use the three modeling techniques Conceptual, Logical, and Physical to create the perfect structure which can then be used to implement the data management. In this article, we will dive deep into the topic of data modeling and discuss the three main data models.

The Need for Data Modeling

Data modeling is a powerful way of increasing the integrity of your data and essentially driving more work out of your data. In a nutshell, the conceptual model provides the importance of different entities of data, a conceptual data model contains technical descriptions of the entities, their attributes, and relationships while the physical model represents a way where the data management can be shown visually using a table name, column names and more.

Together the three models form the foundation upon which data management is done. The data management in turn reduces data loss, enables companies to make accurate decisions, provides increased data security and productivity, and reduces the cost of management and retrieval of the data.

Conceptual Model

The conceptual model is the simplest model which is constructed directly with instructions from business owners or stakeholders. The business heads work with data architects to create a model based on entities, attributes, and relationships. The entities refer to different categories of data, the attributes are the columns of data while the relationships between these entities are used to join the data. 

However, the complicated stuff doesn’t take place in this phase. A simple Entity Relationship Diagram is created which is easily understood by everyone. 

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Logical Model 

The logical model builds on to the conceptual model and adds important details which can later help the computer understand how to deal with the data. The model is typically constructed by the data architect in UML notation which is difficult to understand by regular people. Among many other things, primary keys are assigned to each entity and foreign keys are used to create relationships among the entities. 

Business owners can use platforms like Valueblue.com which can help them model a strategic vision and maximize the usability of their data to reduce costs and increase productivity.

Physical Model

The physical model is the final model which is used to then implement a database on a platform like ORACLE, SQL, or INGRES. Depending on the use case of the data and requirements of the client a database management system is chosen and the physical model is constructed for that. 

The model adds more details to the conceptual model and changes the terms to better reflect the database tool. 

Final Thoughts

Data modeling can be a powerful tool to aid you in your business ventures. Many upcoming businesses fail to model their data effectively and then suffer losses later down the road. It is also vital to invest in a powerful tool that can help you yield the data and maximize the returns.

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