Data is more valuable than ever. You only need to turn on the news to see how much people want to protect it.
Meanwhile, large organizations and bodies are willing to pay vast sums of money to access it. So while startups and disrupters will always be quicker and more agile than vast monolithic enterprises, the data accumulated by large corporations remains invaluable, and if used correctly and efficiently, can be a critical differentiator.
The enterprise must, therefore, find a way to ensure the accuracy and quality of this data, gaining insights and maximizing their advantage. This includes reducing the complexity both of processes and the data itself, so that it can be more easily understood by a broader audience.
Data flow diagrams quite simply provide a visual representation of how information moves through a given system, showing both the input and output of data. Although relatively simple in principle they remain one of the most effective ways for an enterprise to understand and modify their processes and systems. Put simply, they enable the analysis of how data moves, so that organizations can identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies. It is up to the individual/organization in question to decide how simple or granular they would like the diagram to be.
Data flow diagrams come in two forms; logical and physical. Logical is the “what” and physical is the “how.” A logical data flow diagram provides a high-level overview, which is easily digestible for non-technical stakeholders. It is a broadly theoretical model which outlines the path data follows; from where it comes from, where it’s going and how it might change on route. The physical data flow diagrams, by contrast, are detailed and technical. They identify the specific entities involved in the flow of data, including programs, program modules, and manual procedures. The diagrams can be used in isolation or conjunction to provide multiple perspectives. It is also up to the organization in question how detailed or otherwise to make their diagrams.
Data flow diagrams serve a crucial purpose, because no matter the quality or volume of data within an organization, if it is not managed and processed correctly, it is fairly redundant. However, the diagrams alone can only go so far. Reducing complexity helps maximize the value and impact it can have on your business.
Actually harnessing data requires more than just data flow diagrams. Synchronizing, standardizing and aligning information is crucial if the business is truly going to help simply and maximize the benefits. A tool such as iServer syncs content with other systems and tools, as well as an easy to use wizard for the automated, ensuring the repository is always up to date with vital organizational data.
The iServer repository stores data in a variety of forms and encourages a constant two-way connection. It’s even possible to convert conceptual data models into Microsoft Visio diagrams, which are then imported to iServer for model management and analysis. In doing so, it is possible to capture and translate complex, convoluted systems and designs into easily understood representations of the data flows. Get in touch today to find out more about how iServer helps organizations design data architectures and model flow diagrams, ensuring the accuracy, quality and relevance of information across the business.