Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (2022)

When developers approach databases they often neglect proper data modeling. This can result in a lot of fiddling with the data structure over time. Fiddling is fine for a proof of concept. But when tasked with developing a complex and evolving project, you want to define the data structure from the start.

Moreover, when there is a disconnect between the development team and the business team, a lot of potentially useful data can be lost, misplaced, or underused. Can data modeling bridge this gap between DBAs and business? And what tools should you use to achieve that?

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (1)

What is data modeling?

A data model is a visual representation of data specification. Data models are often designed in the form of a UML diagram. It doesn’t matter if it is an SQL or NoSQL database; data can be stored and collected in many ways. The process of defining what data needs to be collected and how it should be stored is data modeling.

Data modeling can be done with any UML editor or even pen and paper, but there are a plethora of tools specifically designed for data modeling. Data modeling tools worth their salt will not only draw pretty pictures but also integrate directly with your databases.

But before we get to our list of top ten data modeling tools you should know, let’s quickly recap how data modeling works.

Conceptual model vs Logical model vs Physical model

Data modeling usually contains three layers:

  • The Conceptual Model – to establish the entities, their attributes, and their relationships
  • The Logical Data Model – to define the structure of the data elements and set the relationships between them
  • The Physical Data Model – to describe the database-specific implementation of the data model
Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (2)

There is a lot more to be said about the different layers of data modeling, and I recommend some further reading.

The benefits of data modeling

There are many benefits to data modeling. For starters, the simple process of thinking about what data is required before defining the data structures already improves the quality of data. However, the benefits don’t stop there.

Business-oriented teams and people can model the conceptual layer from a business perspective. By using a conceptual layer, non-technical people that will eventually use the data can define what kind of data they need. The logical layer can be done by IT, and only the physical layer defined by developers. Having the data model be scrutinized from different perspectives naturally improves the quality of data.

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (3)

Furthermore, proper data modeling allows visualization of the data structures. This can help identify weaknesses and strengths in advance. It can also allow developers to choose the correct data structures for the data to be stored in. This prevents the need of migrating data from one place to another when the data structure is found to be inadequate.

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What are data modeling tools?

Data modeling tools enable quick and efficient data modeling. They bridge the gap between the various layers of data models and the data itself. Most data modeling tools will generate database schemas or DTD automatically, allow merging and comparing schemas and models, and reverse engineer existing databases into models.

Good data modeling tools will be accessible to non-technical people to allow conceptual data modeling with ease.

Top 10 data modeling tools for 2021

1. erwin Data Modeler

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (4)

The erwin Data Modeler has been around for a good 30 years. If nothing else, erwin is sure to understand data and data modeling. This data modeling tool takes it a step further than simply designing the data model and ensures constant integration with databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL to visualize your data and get the most of it.

  • Multiple versions to suit the customer’s specific needs
  • Robust comparison tools
  • Rich visualization with metadata

erwin offered several versions with key differences. The standard edition offers model creation and deployment. The navigator is a read-only version to help visualize data. The workshop edition is a repository-based solution meant for collaboration. And the most specific tool is the NoSQL version, which, as its name suggests, handles non-relational databases.

Both the standard version and the workshop version offer comparison tools that can be used to find differences across multiple databases or versions.

Pricing: $299 a month or $2,999 a year for the standard edition
$449 a month or $4,499 a year for the workshop edition

2. ER/Studio

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (5)

ER/Studio, not unlike erwin, has been around for a while, and it shows both in the positive and the negative. While ER/Studio provides a robust feature set that comes from decades of improvements, they sometimes have difficulty keeping up with new technologies.

  • Git integration along with merge/comparison tools
  • Business first mindset
  • Forward and Reverse engineering capabilities

The Git integration is modern and effective, using SSIS and SSRS standards for ease of use.

ER/Studio was designed specifically with the philosophy of bridging the gaps between business and developers, to get the best out of your data.

Whether you already have data or you’re starting fresh, ER/Studio will provide the tools you need to make the best use out of it going forward. The tool will also help you reduce redundancies.

Pricing: Starts at $1,470.40 per user (workstation), but prices are generally negotiated.

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3. DbSchema

DbSchema is a visual database designer & manager that supports a wide variety of database types including SQL, NoSQL, and Cloud databases.

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (6)

Among others, DbSchema offers:

  • Support not only for GIT but also Mercurial, SVN, and CVS
  • Frequent bug fixes and platform updates (every 2 or 3 months)
  • Built-in random data generator

Unfortunately, DbSchema does not provide enough details on the description of the fields and lacks version management features. Besides, users report that it is not as reliable as other tools.

Pricing: Starting at $63 for one user (for academic purposes) and $127 for individual users for a perpetual lifetime license. A free version is available, as well as evaluation licenses upon request.

4. ERBuilder

ERBuilder Data Modeler is aimed at making data modeling accessible for developers. This means that it is not a good fit for conceptual and logical data modeling layers.

  • Easy to use visual data modeler
  • Forward and reverse engineering of databases
  • Data exploration
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Unfortunately, ERBuilder lacks collaborative and versioning control tools. But the robust, easy-to-use graphical interface is a strong point in its favor. While exploring data with ERBuilder you will find it easy to navigate between different tables and automatically build detailed diagrams at the click of a button.

Price: Free version available, and a wide variety of pricing options from $49 subscription model and $99 perpetual model.

5. HeidiSQL

HeidiSQL is an open-source and free physical layer data modeling tool designed for ease of use. Being free, HeidiSQL is one of the most popular tools for MariaDB and MySQL worldwide.

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (8)

Unlike proprietary competitors, it doesn’t have any noteworthy singular features. That said, it does have some stability issues, although users report it has no adverse effects and simply requires a restart.

Pricing: Free

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6. Navicat Data Modeler

Navicat Data Modeler is an affordable and powerful data modeling tool, with a very pleasing user interface. Data modeling tools often look outdated, but not Navicat.

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (9)

Like many of the higher-priced data modeling tools (like erwin and ER/Studio) Navicat features:

  • Reverse engineering tools
  • Physical as well as Conceptual and Logical modeling
  • Navicat Cloud

Navicat’s pricing model makes it much more affordable than erwin and ER/Studio and does not fall short in its set of features, although some users report lacking field descriptions.

The Navicat cloud supports synchronizing your connection settings, queries, and models across devices including Windows, macOS, and iOS devices.

Pricing: Starting at 22.99 Monthly.

7. Toad Data Modeler

Toad Data Modeler supports a wide range of platforms and also many different versions. For example, Toad supports MS SQL Server as far back as 2000.

  • Rapid deployment
  • Logical and physical layers
Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (10)

Toad setup and licensing are on the more complex side and can be improved. It also requires a different application to work separately on Oracle and MySQL. A one-stop solution would be preferable.

Piercing: Starts at $293 annually.

8. Archi – Open Source ArchiMate Modelling

Archi is a Data Modeling toolkit designed for all levels of models, including business enterprises and small companies. It uses ArchiMate, a visual notation language that helps explain complex systems.

Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (11)

Unlike HeidiSQL, an alternative open-source solution, Archi has a clean user interface and allows conceptual as well as physical data modeling.

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Pricing: Free

9. DeZign for Databases

DeZign for Databases is an intuitive and easy-to-use tool for data modeling designed for developers and DBAs.

  • Multiple display modes
  • Pan and zoom window
  • Advanced features like N:M-relationships
Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (12)

DeZign is a tool that focuses on data viewing features and complex data modeling. Targeting developers and DBAs means that it lacks the tools for effective conceptual later modeling.

Pricing: Starting at $228

10. SQL Database Modeler

SQL Database modeler is a slick and modern SaaS, being completely web-based. The tool has many singular cloud features and collaborative tools and is very easy to get into. No download or installation is required.

  • Web application
  • Easy to start and get a first impression
  • Code-free development
Top 10 Data Modeling Tools to Know in 2021 - Spectral (13)

Honestly, the SQL Database Modeler website is such a pleasure I urge you to visit it and explore it yourself. If nothing else, you’d enjoy the tour. The quality of the website speaks to the quality of the tool itself, as both are web-based. That said, a major appeal of the platform is its code-free approach wherever possible.

Pricing: Starting at $25 monthly or $240 annually.

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Although the list is by no means exhaustive, it should help you get started in choosing the solution for you. The next step would be to list your requirements and compare the solutions side-by-side.

When looking at which tool to use, you’d be right to make sure that the tool supports the databases you intend to use, as well as all the layers you require. Whether you intend to collaborate or not, version control is a great boon to any piece of software.

Only a few of the solutions on this list feature cloud support; the modern SQL Database Modeler and Navicat Data Modeler stand out in this regard. However, there is security in going with a tool as well established as erwin Data Modeler or ER/Studio.

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FAQs

Which of the following tools are used for data Modelling? ›

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a free tool with good features and functionalities. Archi is an open-source tool that allows the creation of ArchiMate models. SQL DBM is also a free tool with good features, but it is available in the beta version. Database Deployment Manager is useful for object-oriented modeling.

What are the 5 steps under data modeling? ›

CASE STUDY:
  • Step 1: Gathering Business requirements: ...
  • Step 2: Identification of Entities: ...
  • Step 3: Conceptual Data Model: ...
  • Step 4: Finalization of attributes and Design of Logical Data Model. ...
  • Step 5: Creation of Physical tables in database:

What is data modeling and design tools? ›

Data Modeling tools are the software applications that help you to create database structures from diagrams, and thereby it becomes easier to form a perfect data structure as per your need. These tools allow users to create business-specific infographics, diagrams, data visualizations, and flowcharts.

Is Tableau a data modeling tool? ›

The data modeling capabilities introduced to Tableau in 2020.2 are designed to make analysis over common multi-table data scenarios—including star and snowflake data models—easy. The following types of models are supported in Tableau data sources.

What is data modeling in SQL? ›

Data modeling is the process of diagramming data flows. When creating a new or alternate database structure, the designer starts with a diagram of how data will flow into and out of the database.

What tools do models use? ›

Tools
  • Xacto knife and blades. Get some number 11's and a chisel blade. ...
  • Sprue Nippers and Cutters. Invest in a good pair of Xuron cutters. ...
  • Tweezers. ...
  • Pin Vise and drill bits. ...
  • Sanding pads, sanding sticks. ...
  • Tamiya putty (or some kind of modeling putty) ...
  • Clamps, rubber bands, and clothespins. ...
  • Blue-tack or Poster Putty.

What are modeling tools? ›

Modelling tools are basically 'model-based testing tools' which actually generates test inputs or test cases from stored information about a particular model (e.g. a state diagram), so are classified as test design tools. It helps to validate models of the system or software.

What are data Modelling techniques? ›

The following are the types of data modeling techniques: hierarchical, network, relational, object-oriented, entity-relationship, dimensional, and graph.

What are the 4 types of database model? ›

Types of database models

Hierarchical database model. Relational model. Network model. Object-oriented database model.

What are the three major stages of data modeling? ›

Data modeling occurs at three levels—physical, logical, and conceptual. A physical model is a schema or framework for how data is physically stored in a database. A conceptual model identifies the high-level, user view of data.

How do I learn data modeling? ›

How to Learn Data Modeling: Step-by-Step
  1. Purchase and install tools. There are many tools available online for data modeling. ...
  2. Watch data modeling tutorials. You can check out some data modeling tutorials to help you gain a deeper understanding of the practice. ...
  3. Sign up for classes. ...
  4. Read books. ...
  5. Practice.
15 Dec 2020

Is Visio a data modeling tool? ›

In Visio, with the Database Model Diagram template, you can create a new model or reverse engineer an existing database into a model. This article describes how to create a database model and what you can do with the model after you create it.

What is Data Modeler in SQL Developer? ›

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a free graphical tool that enhances productivity and simplifies data modeling tasks. Using Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler users can create, browse and edit, logical, relational, physical, multi-dimensional, and data type models.

What is data model in Snowflake? ›

Data modeling is the process of organizing and mapping data using simplified diagrams, symbols, and text to represent data associations and flow. Engineers use these models to develop new software and to update legacy software. Data modeling also ensures the consistency and quality of data.

Is Tableau no code? ›

Programming is not needed for Tableau for basic use. Tableau offers drag-and-drop functionalities for building charts without the need for coding and is not designed for data cleaning through programming. However, advanced Tableau users can use Python and R code to enhance visualizations and build models.

How does data model work in Excel? ›

A Data Model allows you to integrate data from multiple tables, effectively building a relational data source inside an Excel workbook. Within Excel, Data Models are used transparently, providing tabular data used in PivotTables and PivotCharts.

Is Tableau a low code? ›

Finally, Tableau offers advanced low-code calculations such as correlations and windowing functions. It frees your hands without limiting your data analysis.

What are the 5 data models? ›

Sometimes, storing data related to the same entity or process in smaller tables improves both the structure and the performance.
  • The Conceptual Data Model. ...
  • The Logical Data Model. ...
  • The Physical Data Model. ...
  • The Hierarchical Data Model. ...
  • The Network Data Model. ...
  • The Relational Data Model. ...
  • The Entity-Relationship Data Model.
14 Apr 2022

Which diagram is used for data modeling? ›

The Data Modeling diagram is used to create or view graphical models of relational database system schemas including a range of database objects. The diagrams can be drawn at a logical or a physical level.

What is data model PDF? ›

Data model is a collection of concepts that can be used to describe the structure of a database which provides the necessary means to achieve the abstraction. The structure of a database means that holds the data. → data types. DATA MODEL.

What material is used most often in modeling? ›

The most common materials used for models:
  1. Foam boards. A foam board involves a layer of foam caught between two thin pieces of plywood. ...
  2. Transparent material / Plexiglas. ...
  3. Plywood and cardboard. ...
  4. Wood. ...
  5. Foam and polystyrene. ...
  6. Metal. ...
  7. Surrounding elements.
15 Jan 2022

How can I get into modeling? ›

9 Best Beginner Tips for Scale Modeling
  1. Choose an Appropriate Skill Level. Building a model kit is meant to be an enjoyable activity, so pick a model kit that corresponds to your skill level. ...
  2. Pick What You Really Like. ...
  3. Research Your Model. ...
  4. Decide on a Scale. ...
  5. The Model Kit. ...
  6. Glue. ...
  7. Tweezers. ...
  8. Brushes.
12 Feb 2021

What is data Modelling example? ›

Data Modeling Terminology

Example: Customers, Orders, Products, etc. Attribute: Attributes give a way of structuring and organizing the data. Relationship: Relationship among the entities explains how one entity is connected to another entity.

How do you design a data model? ›

How to create a data model for your app project in 9 steps
  1. Gather business requirements. ...
  2. Define business processes. ...
  3. Create a conceptual data model. ...
  4. Define entities and attributes. ...
  5. Identify data sources. ...
  6. Establish relationships between entities. ...
  7. Physical modeling. ...
  8. Normalization and ensuring the integrity of data.
22 May 2022

How can I improve my data modeling? ›

10 Techniques to Boost Your Data Modeling
  1. Understand the Business Requirements and Results Needed. ...
  2. Visualize the Data to Be Modeled. ...
  3. Start With Simple Data Modeling and Extend Afterwards. ...
  4. Break Business Enquiries Down Into Facts, Dimensions, Filters, and Order. ...
  5. Use Just the Data You Need Rather Than All the Data Available.
9 May 2017

What are the six 6 characteristics that makes a good data model? ›

The 6 dimensions of data quality are: Completeness, Consistency, Conformity, Accuracy, Integrity and Timeliness.

What are the 3 main types of databases? ›

hierarchical database systems. network database systems. object-oriented database systems.

Which database model is best and why? ›

Network Model

In this database model data is more related as more relationships are established in this database model. Also, as the data is more related, hence accessing the data is also easier and fast. This database model was used to map many-to-many data relationships.

Which database is the best? ›

Which is best Database for web applications In 2022?
  • The Oracle. Oracle is the most widely used commercial relational database management system, built-in assembly languages such as C, C++, and Java. ...
  • MySQL. ...
  • MS SQL Server. ...
  • PostgreSQL. ...
  • MongoDB. ...
  • IBM DB2. ...
  • Redis. ...
  • Elasticsearch.
23 May 2022

What is an API data model? ›

The API Data model consists of the following major entities: User: A user is the individual performing the analysis in BaseSpace. Runs: A run is a collection of . bcl files associated with an individual flow cell and contains metrics and reads generated by the instrument on which the flow cell was sequenced.

What are the basic data Modelling components? ›

A data model supports the following components:
  • Data set. A data set contains the logic to retrieve data from a single data source. ...
  • Event triggers. A trigger checks for an event. ...
  • Flexfields. ...
  • Lists of values. ...
  • Parameters. ...
  • Bursting Definitions. ...
  • Custom Metadata (for Web Content Servers)

What is the first step of data modeling? ›

The identification of the items, events, or concepts represented in the Data set to be modeled is the first step in the Data modeling process.

Is data Modelling difficult? ›

Designing a data model is not an easy task. There are many considerations that a data engineer has to take into account before creating a model, such as business requirements, individual business processes, read/write ratios, etc.

What skills are required for data Modelling? ›

Skills you need to succeed as a data modeler
  • Data modeling experience.
  • Database administration experience.
  • Ability to learn and adapt quickly.
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • Software development experience.
  • Experience with data modeling tools such as ERWin and Power Design.
  • Experience with SQL.
3 May 2022

Is data Modelling a good career? ›

Data Modeling is a growing field, with many opportunities. Data modelers often work with data architects and analysts to identify key information that supports both the goals and the system requirements of the organization. Managing and keeping the data's integrity and quality is essential.

Is Visio a data modeling tool? ›

In Visio, with the Database Model Diagram template, you can create a new model or reverse engineer an existing database into a model. This article describes how to create a database model and what you can do with the model after you create it.

What tools do models use? ›

Tools
  • Xacto knife and blades. Get some number 11's and a chisel blade. ...
  • Sprue Nippers and Cutters. Invest in a good pair of Xuron cutters. ...
  • Tweezers. ...
  • Pin Vise and drill bits. ...
  • Sanding pads, sanding sticks. ...
  • Tamiya putty (or some kind of modeling putty) ...
  • Clamps, rubber bands, and clothespins. ...
  • Blue-tack or Poster Putty.

What are data Modelling techniques? ›

The following are the types of data modeling techniques: hierarchical, network, relational, object-oriented, entity-relationship, dimensional, and graph.

What is data Modelling example? ›

Data Modeling Terminology

Example: Customers, Orders, Products, etc. Attribute: Attributes give a way of structuring and organizing the data. Relationship: Relationship among the entities explains how one entity is connected to another entity.

How do I create a conceptual data model in Visio? ›

How To Use Visio 2016 For Conceptual Data Modeling And Er ...

How do you create a data model? ›

How to create a data model for your app project in 9 steps
  1. Gather business requirements. ...
  2. Define business processes. ...
  3. Create a conceptual data model. ...
  4. Define entities and attributes. ...
  5. Identify data sources. ...
  6. Establish relationships between entities. ...
  7. Physical modeling. ...
  8. Normalization and ensuring the integrity of data.
22 May 2022

Is Visio free? ›

🌟 Is Microsoft Visio Free? No, Microsoft Visio is not a free tool. It comes with monthly or annual subscription plans as well as one-time software purchase for standard and professional versions licensed for 1 PC.

What material is used most often in modeling? ›

The most common materials used for models:
  1. Foam boards. A foam board involves a layer of foam caught between two thin pieces of plywood. ...
  2. Transparent material / Plexiglas. ...
  3. Plywood and cardboard. ...
  4. Wood. ...
  5. Foam and polystyrene. ...
  6. Metal. ...
  7. Surrounding elements.
15 Jan 2022

What is data modeling in Oracle? ›

Data Modeling with Oracle SQL Developer

Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler is a free graphical tool that enhances productivity and simplifies data modeling tasks. Using Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler users can create, browse and edit, logical, relational, physical, multi-dimensional, and data type models.

What is model equipment? ›

The equipment model includes a functional group of equipment that can perform a finite number of specific, minor, processing activities. It is important the equipment model is well-designed and provides flexibility and modularity as well as impacting the equipment's overall performance.

What are the 5 data models? ›

Sometimes, storing data related to the same entity or process in smaller tables improves both the structure and the performance.
  • The Conceptual Data Model. ...
  • The Logical Data Model. ...
  • The Physical Data Model. ...
  • The Hierarchical Data Model. ...
  • The Network Data Model. ...
  • The Relational Data Model. ...
  • The Entity-Relationship Data Model.
14 Apr 2022

How do I learn data modeling? ›

How to Learn Data Modeling: Step-by-Step
  1. Purchase and install tools. There are many tools available online for data modeling. ...
  2. Watch data modeling tutorials. You can check out some data modeling tutorials to help you gain a deeper understanding of the practice. ...
  3. Sign up for classes. ...
  4. Read books. ...
  5. Practice.
15 Dec 2020

What is data Modelling in Excel? ›

A Data Model allows you to integrate data from multiple tables, effectively building a relational data source inside an Excel workbook. Within Excel, Data Models are used transparently, providing tabular data used in PivotTables and PivotCharts.

What is data Modelling in AI? ›

A data model is an abstract model that organizes elements of data and standardizes how they relate to one another and to the properties of real-world entities.

What is data model PDF? ›

Data model is a collection of concepts that can be used to describe the structure of a database which provides the necessary means to achieve the abstraction. The structure of a database means that holds the data. → data types. DATA MODEL.

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