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Data Modeling 101: The What? Why? and When?

by Dana  What is a Data Model? In semi-technical terms, “A data model is a set of symbols and text used for communicating a precise representation of an information landscape.” (Hoberman, 2016, p.13). In layman’s terms (i.e., my interpretation) a data model is similar to a blueprint used when building a house. It contains lines and shapes denoting the location of where the different rooms will be located, and where the different pipes and wirings will go, so that the builders can use it as reference during the construction of the house.  The process of creating a data model is called data modeling.   3 Types of Data Models   1. Conceptual data models (CMDs): Higher level model that includes only business rules and concepts with a defined scope. This model is created...

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Monitoring Program Capacity

Over the past couple of blog entries, Taj has shared lessons learned about design thinking that you can apply to your work. Taj will be continuing that series soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share a related example of creating a simple, but effective, visualization for a client. Background A local agency wanted to track client capacity on a monthly basis. This agency oversees services to pregnant women across multiple program locations, so tracking such information is necessary not only for their oversight of services, but also for sound management of dollars received from their funderEach service program under our client’s purview has an individualized contracted site capacity (i.e., maximum number of clients that they could serve), and dealt with an influx of clients enrolling and withdrawing from services each...

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