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Modelling Business Information

Entity relationship and class modelling for Business Analysts

By (author) Keith Gordon

Publication date: 25 Aug 2017

It is almost universally accepted that requirements documents for new or enhanced IT systems by business analysts should include a ‘data model’ to represent the information that has to be handled by the system. Starting from first principles, this book will help business analysts to develop the skills required to construct data models through comprehensive coverage of entity relationship and class modelling, in line with the BCS Data Analysis syllabus. In addition to covering the topics in the syllabus, the book also includes extra information of interest including data model quality and taking a requirement model into database design.
Keith Gordon is an independent consultant and lecturer specialising in data management and business analysis. He has spent over 50 years in technical, education and training environments as an engineer, computer consultant, data manager, business analyst, education and training manager.

Dimensions: 244x170mm

Print ISBN-13: 9781780173535

Ebook ISBN-13: 9781780173559

202 pages

Imprint: BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT


Part 1: The Basics

Chapter 1: Why business analysts should model information 

Chapter 2: Modelling the things of interest to the business and the relationships between them

Chapter 3: Modelling more complex relationships  

Chapter 4: Drawing and validating data model diagrams 

Chapter 5: Recording information about things 

Chapter 6: Rationalising data using normalisation 

Part 2: Supplementary Material

Chapter 7: Other modelling notations

Chapter 8: The naming of artefacts on information models

Chapter 9: Information model quality

Chapter 10: Corporate information and data models

Chapter 11: Data and databases

Chapter 12: Business intelligence

Chapter 13: Advances in SQL (or why business analysts should not be in the weeds)

Chapter 14: Taking a requirements information model into database design

Appendix A: Table of equivalences

Appendix B: Bibliography

Appendix C: Solutions to the exercises 
'“Modelling Business Information” by Keith Gordon, is aimed at those who are new to business analysis or information modelling. Keith draws on a wealth of experience in information management, both as a practitioner, and as a lecturer with the Open University in his writing. The first six chapters provide an accessible and clear foundation in the topic covering the reasons for developing information models, the basic elements of entity-relationship diagrams, how to develop an information model from basic information requirements, and finally how to normalise existing data. I particularly like that it uses two graphical notations, the Barker-Ellis notation, noted for its readability, and the ubiquitous Unified Modelling Language notation, which helps to demonstrate that there are different notations that entity-relationship models can be developed in. This first part of the book also takes care to cover the syllabus for the Data Analysis certificate that is part of the scheme for the BCS Advanced International Diploma in Business Analysis. The second part of the book covers a range of more advanced topics from naming conventions and yet more entity-relationship model notations, to considerations of quality in information models, corporate data models, modelling for business intelligence applications, and finally goes on to look at data and database topics including an overview of SQL, and moving to database design and optimisation. Overall, the book provides an excellent grounding in the full range of topics related to information modelling.'

Matthew West

‘Anyone interested in a thoughtful, well-done text on how to do high-quality business analytical data modelling should definitely proceed with this book.’

David Hay

'“Modelling Business Information” provides an introduction to data modeling, to the nomenclature used by common modeling techniques, and to techniques for representing common patterns. This is a useful book for business analysts who are creating the information model as well as for business and IT users who need to understand a data model.'

Keith W. Hare
Senior Consultant

'Keith Gordon’s wonderfully compact yet thorough introduction to business-friendly information modelling is a terrific contribution to the field. Globally, there’s a surge of interest in data modelling as a powerful tool for improving communication, especially with professionals who used to think business-oriented entity-relationship modelling didn't need to be in their tool kits. Business analysts, Agile developers, data scientists, big data specialists, and other professionals will all benefit from Keith’s work.'

Alec Sharp
Senior Consultant, Clariteq

'As the roles of Data and Business Analysts become more intertwined, this book is timely in its publication. Businesses often fail to recognise information is a key resource and are confused by how it is presented or overwhelmed its complexity during use. Keith brings to the forefront of the readers mind the importance of communicating and analysing the relationship between Business, Information, Systems and Data, and the value in developing models cooperatively, gaining "consensus, not perfection“ from stakeholders. Simple everyday examples and analogies to support the readers understanding and make the subject more relatable are used. I enjoyed reading the book and completing the exercises. An excellent learning aid for Analysts who are new to modelling or need reminding of good practice.'

Katie Walsh
Business Analyst and Mentor