Let’s suppose you want to bake a cake. You buy some flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, butter, and milk. You just mix them all in to make the cake batter and place it in the oven. After about 30 minutes, you have something that looks like a cake and even “almost” tastes like one. Except, the cake is jiggly, it’s sweet enough to give you a headache, and it just won’t come off the pan!
Turns out you didn’t really have a recipe to understand how much of each ingredient to use and when to add them in the process. And that impacts the end result. You learn the hard way that, perhaps, having a recipe would have given you a clear roadmap and saved time and money. The same applies to data.
Imagine data as your cake and the ingredients as your data tables, except that your data cake is made up of tens of thousands of ingredients (data tables). That’s exactly why you’d need data modeling. It helps you create a roadmap to find and process the right data to trigger actionable insights and enable smart decisions.
But, what exactly is a data modeling tool and why do organizations need it?
At To-Increase, we’re passionate about solving complex business problems for our clients. We empower them with our deep domain expertise and innovative solutions such as Data Modeling Studio for Dynamics 365 (DMS), which simplifies data preparation and extraction for analytics. Therefore, we believe that helping you understand what a data modeling tool is and how it can help organizations will enable you to leverage it for greater business benefits.
In this article, we will discuss:
- What is a data modeling tool?
- Why do organizations need a data modeling tool?
- What are the benefits of a data modeling tool?
- How to simplify data preparation and extraction with a data modeling tool
What is a data modeling tool?
A data modeling tool is a solution that enables faster and more efficient modeling of data. But, what exactly are data modeling and a data model?
Data modeling is the process of creating a data model, which is a plan to define what data you need to collect and how to store it. It is about evaluating, understanding, and refining your data requirements to visually describe your business and creating data flows to streamline the processes.
A data modeling tool helps you easily connect your data with multi-layered data models. It also simplifies and accelerates the process of creating a database, all while minimizing manual errors. Additionally, with a data modeling tool, you are better equipped to develop a high-quality database that can produce insightful reports for each of the parties involved. Consequently, you reduce time and effort in maintenance and task execution and improve your chances of success.
Why do organizations need a data modeling tool?
Today’s modern businesses are driven by data and with tons of it available, organizing it for the right use and at the right time becomes crucial. And, that’s when organizations can use a data modeling tool like DMS, that can help leverage their data optimally to create and implement a reliable data strategy. It helps grasp the product design and its core business logic, thus aiding cross-functional collaboration.
The five benefits of a data modeling tool in the next section will explain in detail why organizations increasingly need one today.
What are the benefits of a data modeling tool?
1. Improves data quality
When you set out to migrate to the cloud or develop software without a clear roadmap, your chances of success reduce drastically. Data modeling is like a blueprint of your cloud migration or software development project that you need to have in place before implementation. This map is used as a common source when collecting data, thus ensuring the overall data quality, including consistency and accuracy.
2. Enhances business processes
The process of gathering and storing data becomes easy to manage, extend, and scale with data models. A data modeling software enables you to collect the right business data requirements and set rules to ensure the required processes are on track. It visually displays the overall data scenario to everyone in your organization. This facilitates the identification of the bottlenecks, limitations, and opportunities in the processes, thus improving them continuously.
3. Reduces time-to-market
A data modeling tool enables organizations to identify errors early on in the process, allowing for faster development of the application. It supports effective and easy communication among your teams, thus eliminating distraction, confusion, or errors from having to figure out requirements as you go along. As a result, it substantially reduces the time to produce feature-rich software or ensure a successful cloud migration.
4. Ensures smarter business intelligence
It’s a given that organizations have tons of data, but how effectively are they using it! A data modeling tool ensures the effective use of data in establishing smarter business intelligence (BI) in your organization.
5. Cuts down cost
A data modeling software allows you to create your underlying business guidelines directly. With complete visibility into the rules, you are likely to experience lesser rework during the project implementation. How exactly so?
For one, clarity on requirements bridges the gap between true business needs and project implementation/product development. Furthermore, it also helps you detect and fix errors quickly. Therefore, it enables you to complete your projects in much lesser time and effort. And, ultimately, you save nearly 70% of the total spend on programming.
Do you need a data modeling tool?
If you’re wondering whether your organization needs a data modeling tool, here are some pointers to help you with a quick evaluation.
You need data modeling if:
- Your organization collects, stores, and uses massive volumes of data
- You are running a highly-regulated business that demands greater standards for data governance, security, and quality management.
- You want to improve the system performance that allows you to suitably and effectively address your data needs.
- You are acquiring—or have already acquired—companies and want to speed up onboarding.
Data modeling cannot help much if:
- Your organization does not or has no plans to work with a huge amount of data
- You do not have a buy-in from all the business stakeholders to involve in the process, without which you cannot translate true business needs to the development team.
If you are still not sure, watch our on-demand webinar on ‘Data Modeling Studio for Dynamics 365 F&O to simplify data extraction’ that will help you understand:
- The challenges faced in the data-to-value lifecycle
- How a data modeling tool like To-Increase’s Data Modeling Studio enables a faster and easier data extraction from Dynamics 365.