A concept model is used to organize the business vocabulary needed to consistently and thoroughly communicate the knowledge of a domain. It is a visual representation of a set of ideas. Concept modelling works especially well when communicating complex sets of ideas and their interactions.

A concept model represents the nouns relevant to an organization or a specific domain. It develops the core concepts and ideas and organizes them in a collective structure. Written in the business’ language, it expands and clarifies the vocabulary to simplify communication.

Concept Model x Data Model

A concept model differs from a data model. The vocabulary in a concept model is far richer, as it suits knowledge-intensive domains.

The goal of a concept model is to support the expression of natural language statements and supply their semantics. Concept models are not intended to unify, codify, and simplify data.

Data models usually derive from concept models (the reverse is much harder, near impossible). Like data models, concept models are often rendered graphically, but free of such distractions to stakeholders as cardinalities (relationship between entities)

Why use concept modelling?

  • Facilitates communication between stakeholders by giving precise and clear vocabulary.
  • It helps confirm that many business rules and complicated decision tables are transparent, cohesive and free of ambiguity.
  • Enhances collaboration, thus impacting an initiative’s development.
  • It is free of data design influences and the limited terminologies of data models

  • Fields of use

    • Organizing, retaining, building-on, managing, and communicating core knowledge

    • Capturing large numbers of business rules for an initiative

    • Tempering resistance from stakeholders about the perceived technical nature of data models, class diagrams, or data element nomenclature and definition

    • Re-engineering business processes or other aspects of business capability for sought innovative solutions

    • Facing regulatory or compliance challenges

    How to use concept modelling

    Making a concept model according to Boxes and Arrows

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