Thinking Data

Thinking Data

I was teaching a data modeling class a few weeks back, and we were in the middle of building subject area models when one of the participants called me over to look at her manufacturing model. There was an entity called ‘Production’ which represented the entire production process required to transform raw materials into finished product.

Although data and process both need to be understood and validated for the complete requirements picture, process entities do not belong on a data model. This Production process entity will need to get replaced with entities such as Plant, Raw Material, and Forecast – Forecast being the information created or needed during the process of forecasting.

We tried several techniques during the training to change this participant’s thinking from process to data, and the one that worked best was to think of the world in terms of nouns instead of actions.

Are there other techniques that you have used with success to help get people thinking data instead of process? Please share!

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