5 Best Data Modelling Tools: How to Choose?

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According to data from McKinsey, businesses are spending trillions of dollars to become data-driven, but only 8% are able to effectively scale analytics to derive value from their data. In order to be part of the 8% (and ultimately make the piece of the pie larger), data modelling tools can help.

Without data modelling concepts, you’re stuck with raw data and no insights. With data modelling techniques (and automation software), you can gain pertinent information in a timely manner to make informed business decisions. Let’s see how!

Coming Up

What is Data Modelling?

What are the Types of Data Modelling?

What are Data Modelling Tools?

What are the Benefits of Data Modelling Tools?

What are the Key Features of Data Modelling Tools?

What are the Best Data Modelling Tools?

How to Choose a Data Modelling Tool?

Wrap Up

What is Data Modelling?

Data modelling is the practice of applying techniques to data to convert it into a useful format. With data modelling, you can represent and store data properly in order to make it usable.

Data is either represented in tables or diagrams, and the relationship between the data and its attributes is where the insights come from.

Businesses can utilise data modelling to visualise its business processes, organisational structure, systems, and even the data needed in order to run its processes smoothly.

Think of data modelling tools as engines, which enable your vehicle (business) to find its secure parking spot (database) for storage and use when you’re looking to get from point A to B (improve processes and/or deliver results).

What are the Types of Data Modelling?

Data modelling methodologies are in line with the database’s design. In order to choose what schema to use, it’s optimal to start by defining your business needs and then create a data model that works in accordance to best support your requirements.

Here’s a few types of data models:

1. Conceptual Mode

Conceptual model define entities, attributes, and their relationships.

2. Logical Data Model

Logical data model outlines the structure of data elements and defines their relationships with one another.

3. Physical Data Model

The physical data model is useful to describe database-specific implementation of the data model you use.

What are Data Modelling Tools?

Data modelling tools aid you in creating database structures with a visually appealing data model. This makes it easy for your organisation to manage data to help reach your business goals.

Data modelling software is an application that provides a view for stakeholders as to how the business will collect, manage, and store data. Rather than raw data and inputs, the data modelling tools show the data as representations with labels and graphs, so anyone (with or without technical acumen) can easily understand.

What are the Benefits of Data Modelling Tools?

Imagine building a house without a blueprint. Where would you begin and how could you offer feedback as a homeowner if it’s moving in the direction you wish? That would be like managing data without data modelling tools.

Data modelling tools make it easy to think about the data you need to define data structures. It also helps make it possible to improve the quality of data.

Business-oriented teams actually use the data and its insights, so it’s advantageous for stakeholders to be able to think about data visually. This ability helps to spot weaknesses and identify strengths.

What are the Key Features of Data Modelling Tools?

Here’s what you need to know when searching for a helpful data modelling tool.

The best data modelling tools include features like:

1. Import and export

You’ll want to be able to import and export your data model from and to the application.

2. Round-trip engineering

Since data modelling typically takes place as part of a larger goal with developmental and change management cycles, you’ll want to ensure that any changes to the model are also reflected across the board.

3. Integration

The ability for your data modelling tool to integrate with your existing software programs will end up saving your business time.

4. Chart creation

Data modelling tools that offer the ability to represent qualitative data in charts makes it easier to digest for anyone involved.

What are the Best Data Modelling Tools?

Now, it’s time to look at the best data modelling tools to consider:

1. Drawi.io

Draw.io is a browser-based flowchart builder with drag-and-drop functionality. It’s like having a digital whiteboard where you can jot down your flowcharts. It allows you to collaborate with multiple users through its integration with Google Drive.

Keep in mind that Draw.io is completely free to use. As such, you may need something more robust depending on your business’ needs. The solution offers a way to make use of a vector graphics processing environment for beginners and comes equipped with templates to help get you started.

Given that it’s a free software, there’s limited support options available; however, there are online support articles to help answer your common questions.

2. Lucidchart

Similar in functionality to Draw.io, Lucidchart is another diagram builder. That being said, it offers a stronger security function for data protection because its unlimited plans are paid. It works with SQL, so users are able to move their canvases into their actual database management systems.

For collaborative needs, Lucidchart has a built-in chat and commenting feature. From an IT perspective, Lucidchart offers features like: database design too, UML diagram tool, P&ID software and more.

For business users, there’s process mapping functions, data flow diagram capabilities, and a business process mapping tool.

3. erwin Data Modeler

Running on MySWL and PostgreSQL, erwin Data Modeler has free databases available. It is a data modelling tool that runs on your desktop on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows systems.

It provides enterprises with visual structured and unstructured data in a database or data warehouse, whether it’s on-premise or in the cloud. The software allows for automatically generated data models that aid in reducing errors and increasing efficiency.

With access to a centralised system to view conceptual, logical and physical data models, business stakeholders are able to visually understand data structures and their meaning.

4. PgModeler

As an open-source database modelling tool for PostgreSQL, PgModeler can be used on Windows, Linux and Mac OS for data modelling needs.

There’s a free option for those who want to input source code, or a paid option for those who’d rather make use of an existing library of options. To use PgModeler, you can get started immediately by downloading it from the site and running the file.

5. Amundsen

Amundsen is a data modelling tool that became open-sourced in 2019. It was created by Lyft’s engineering team to help analysts and data scientists to be more productive and gain contextual insights into data. With a simple text search, its users can locate data and metadata.

Bonus: SolveXia

If you’re searching for a tool that can do more than data modelling, but also provides deep insights and analytics, then SolveXia is the best option!

SolveXia is a no code finance automation platform that can automate your complex (and simple) finance processes. The software can be deployed in under 30 minutes and will provide immediate benefits like increased productivity, streamlined workflows, and error reduction.

Since the solution is made for finance teams, you can use its automation functions for: account reconciliation, regulatory reporting, APRA reporting, expense management, rebate management, and more.

You can use SolveXia to map your processes and make improvements along the way to prevent bottlenecks and remove key person dependencies.  SolveXia connects to all your data systems, improves accuracy and saves time. This enables your finance team to focus on what matters most and deliver more valuable insights to the business.

The software is able to format your data to perform advanced analytics. This way, you gain easily digestible business insights to help make better decisions.

How to Choose a Data Modelling Tool?

When searching for the right data modelling tool to use in your business, consider looking out for:

  1. Easy User Interface: Take a look at the software to ensure you can easily use it (with or without coding experience).
  1. Visualisation: How does the tool allow you to visual data?
  1. Collaboration: Chances are you work with a team and/or across departments. Does the software allow for collaborative efforts (and version control)?
  1. Price: naturally, you’ll want to consider the price tag for any software you choose. But, be sure to balance the price against the features and benefits (along with the support provided).

An data automation tool like SolveXia offers a low-code/no-code solution with an easy-to-use interface that has drag-and-drop functionality.

Whether you have experience with databases or coding or not, anyone can quickly learn how to use the tool because of its library of pre-configured workflows and visual interface. Request a demo to see the tool in action!

Wrap Up

Data modelling tools aid in diagramming data flows. By making it a visual experience, business owners, leaders, and stakeholders can better understand what kind of data is needed to accomplish business goals, as well as how to improve data quality.

Since data is at the heart of every informed decision, it’s a top priority for businesses who are looking to stay ahead of the competition.

In order to reap the most out of your data modelling, add an automation solution to your tech stack so that you can facilitate your data easily and gain the most accurate insights from the data you have available!


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