The Language of Data Modeling
A data model is one of the most important tools in the design process, but it has to be done right. It very often starts as a sketch of the data requirements that you use to communicate with the customer, and is refined over and over until you get it right. However, a common misconception is that a data model is only a picture of a database. That is partly true, but a model is truly so much more. A great data model includes nongraphical representations of pretty much everything about a database and serves as the primary documentation for the life cycle of the database. Aspects of the model will be useful to developers, users, and the database administrators (DBAs) who maintain the system.