Captivating name for CDM?

Captivating name for CDM?

I am heads down on my next book, which is a book on the power of the conceptual data model. The book is written for business managers and business analysts, and I therefore hesitate to use the term “conceptual data model”. Years ago, I’ve called this model a Subject Area Model (SAM), but I’m no longer crazy about this name. I’ve thought of calling it a “business data model”, but not sure if this does it either.

Any thoughts on what to call this model to make it captivating to the business?


  1. Bert 2 years ago

    I use the term domain model these days to steer clear from conceptual/logical/essential naming debates.
    Or business domain model.

  2. Howard Diesel 2 years ago

    Once or twice I have referred to it as a Business Context Model.

  3. Ray D 2 years ago


    It seems that (Entities/ Subject Areas/ Domains*) are almost interchangeable terms these days. If one is doing high level data classification work, not logical data modeling, I suggest using the term Enterprise Conceptual Data Model.

    And split the model into two sections:

    Core Business Entities
    – entities which are foundational to achieving the vision and goals of the business (the core), and as such are populated as the core business functions run
    – examples: Clients, Products, Accounts, Client Service Teams, Transactions/Services, …

    Business Support Entities
    – entities which must be populated to enable all of the “supporting” functions to run
    – examples: Human Resources, Marketing, Financials, Vendors, …

  4. Steven Tuften 2 years ago

    Hi Steve,
    Semantic Data Model ??

  5. Manon 2 years ago

    I think the word Data is mandatory.
    Business Data Model: Get the big picture of your organization!

  6. James Lee 2 years ago

    I like Business Data Model (though at my company we use Conceptual Data Model) as it clearly calls out that this is a business view of the data.. We tried to use the Domain terminology for a bit, but got wrapped around the axle differentiating “data domains” from the domains we defined via “Domain Driven Design”, which is more about the software. So, I’ve been avoided using “domain” when speaking about data.

    I have reverted back to “(data) subject areas” and define the Conceptual Model as the collection of and relationships between the subject areas that are of importance to the business.

  7. Maulik Trivedi 2 years ago

    I vote for Business Information Model or Business Domain Model. It’s funny how literal we data folks can be – it is both a strength and weakness. I like to make things simple to understand for the business audience. When I begin my engagement with a business with a low or medium data maturity, I prefer to begin with just one business information model. Over time as the business audience warms up to the idea of a model, the business information model, which was originally a just subject area model becomes a collection of models – conceptual (subject areas, business entities) and logical. However, in the eyes of the business, it is still one business information model. Depending on individuals’ roles in the business, they may drill down from subject areas to the conceptual (entities) and logical model.

    e.g. Business Information Model (subject areas)->Business Information Model (business entities / conceptual)->Business Information Model (data entities and attributes / logical) and so on.

    Although I still use this terminology in my CV and working with IT folks, I steer clear of terminology like enterprise, conceptual, logical etc. when working with a business audience. We need to keep things simple in the world of instant gratification today.

  8. Steve Plate 2 years ago

    I like Business Domain Model, but we could also use the term Map, as in “Business Domain Map”, as the model is basically mapping out the parts and processes of the business. The think the term “Model” actually diminishes the impact of what we are trying to accomplish (what do you do with a model? where is the value in a model?). The term “Data” has a similar effect, in that it implies that the output only effects the data environment (the IT Team), not the business in general. What we want to get across is that the Conceptual Model should be used not only to structure the Enterprise data, but it should also be useful to guide the business direction and processes and therefore an invaluable tool.

  9. Christopher Woodard 9 months ago

    If “Business” is obvious as the audience, and “Information” is probably emphasized in the meeting invitation, and “Model” is a scary techie word, then what else can we think of in a name for this artifact?
    So far, my best new thought is “Enterprise Information Map”.

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