Data Architecture

Every business, small or large SHOULD have a data architecture. In the core a data architecture gives the overview and insights into the only one real value of your IT: Information. A data architecture gives overviews, visuals and describes e.g.:

  • What data is used where and how.

  • Who owns what data.

  • How is information created from data sources.

  • Internal and external data sources used.

  • Privacy & Security aspects of data (so be sure to have an data owner)

  • What structures, objects and relations are the core of your information model?

Tools for creating a data architecture

To speed up the process for creating a data architecture you SHOULD use tools. Below is a selection of tools that will speed up the process of creating your data architecture. Be aware that data modelling and database design are two very different activities.  The emphase for a data architecture SHOULD be on the conceptual and logical data models. In general  physical data models are related to the sql or nosql storage engine used, in combination with scalability(performance) and security requirements.

  • Data Principles.(See the data principles section in this book.) Using data principles saves you time and cost. Especially in the long term. Selecting data principles you need in your project of a solid collection gives you a head start.

  • Protégé. Protégé is a free, open source ontology editor and knowledge-base framework. This open-source ontology editor and framework can be used for for building intelligent systems. The tool is developed by the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research and has a large and active community of users and developers.

  • Archi.  Archi™ GUI tool for creating an architecture, using the ArchiMate modelling™ language. Since Archi is targeted to all architecture aspects, this tool is usuable for creating conceptual, logical and physical data models too.

  • WWW SQL Designer. This tool allows you to draw and create database schemas (E-R diagrams) directly in browser. A physical data model (sql) can also be imported and adjusted visually.

  • MySQL Workbench. MySQL Workbench enables a DBA, developer, or data architect to visually design, model, generate, and manage databases. It includes everything a data modeler needs for creating complex ER models, forward and reverse engineering, and also delivers key features for performing difficult change management and documentation tasks that normally require much time and effort.

  • JSON Schema. Nice short book that gives you help with creating your JSON Schema.

  • DrawIO. This online FOSS program can be used to create all thinkable data diagrams. It’s a very advanced, but still a simple to use program. The source can be found on if you want to host it yourself.