Over my years in (and before) IT, I’ve seen long projects, failed projects, confused projects, wildly successful projects, and even fun projects that ended far differently than we expected. The consistent take-away for me is that I am a big picture type of person, and that understanding that big, abstract picture cuts out a lot of wasted time sprinting down the wrong paths.
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There are three types of data models: Conceptual, Logical, and Physical. The conceptual model provides a high-level view of the data, defining the general entities and entity relationships using the language of the business or organization. The logical model adds attributes to these entities, providing a technology-agnostic foundation for a database design. The physical model assigns table names, column names, and data types to the entities and attributes defined in the prior models. Defining the data model in distinct layers helps us manage the complexity of design and focus as we refine our understanding of the problem space.