A short history of Data Modeling

I discovered computers in the 80’s when I was around 12 years old. It’s been an amazing ride through all the different evolutions of information computing from those early “DATA” lines hard-coded in Basic to today’s Big Data and NoSQL solutions often hosted in the Cloud.

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Fueled by the improvements in hardware and software, data modeling and information management methodologies provided the best possible solutions for each era. First, removing redundancies by normalizing our data models for transactional processing. Then, reducing the number of joins by denormalizing our data models for reporting. Then, increasing flexibility and agility by hyper-normalizing our data integration models. Now, transforming our craft to handle larger and larger volumes of data while increasing its processing speed by using Big Data ideas and technologies.

Despite all those changes, a foundational truth exists. You have to understand the business you are supporting. In Information Management, a good understanding of the business starts with a data model. The model will support your development process and will facilitate the evolution of your solutions as a communication tool. Today, business readable data models still play an important role … they are not going away.

Written on September 18, 2016