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Data Model and Concept Map

A data model explicitly determines the structure of data. The main aim of data models is to support the development of information systems by providing the definition and format of data.

The data model must be built in parallel to the business model and the business processes. It helps define the organization on a data point of view; define terms to elements of the organization helping speak the same language than insiders and also memorize where existing data lies in the organization.

The completeness of a data model depends on which level you want to achieve. In the goal of understanding an organization, there is no need to use a highly detailed perspective, it is better to stay on the Conceptual or Logical levels.

In order to get the knowledge from the people inside the organization, you might want to use Concept Maps. It is a very simple graphical way to derive knowledge: During brainstorming sessions with key representatives, you make them freely draw concepts in boxes and link the concepts with connecting lines on a white board. The connecting lines may contain verbs to describe the connection between the concepts.